EAST LIVERPOOL - Consol Energy is increasing its presence at the Columbiana County Port Authority's industrial park in Leetonia.
The Port Authority board this week agreed to lease an additional 2,610-square-feet to CNX Gas Co., Consol Energy's natural gas division, bringing the total to 12,610 square feet.
The annual lease payments will now total $252,199, with the amended agreement to take effect Jan. 1.
The board agreed in March to begin leasing office space at the Port Authority's Leetonia World Trade Park to CNX as part of the company's efforts to increase its involvement in Ohio's oil shale gas boom currently under way. CNX plans to work from the Leetonia site as the company expands drilling operations in northeast Ohio.
While Consol is the largest domestic producer of underground-mined coal, the company is also the leading natural gas producer in the eastern United States. Consol has the mineral rights to more than 200,000 acres in Ohio.
In related news, the board voted 5-0 to spend $99,500 to repair the exterior of the building occupied by CNX, which was constructed less than 10 years, by covering it with commercial paneling.
The outside of the building was covered with Dryvit, an insulated exterior wall material commonly referred to synthetic stucco. Port Authority CEO Tracy Drake said they discovered the Dryvit coating should have been thicker, which was their fault and not the contractors, and has begun to deteriorate and crack in sections.
"We're afraid it wasn't standing up to the weather as it should," he said.
Decerbo Construction of Canfield was hired to perform the work.