Carrollton Landowners See Family and Community Benefits
As shale development continues to spread across eastern Ohio we are hearing more about the good experiences landowners are having leasing their land. Landowners are seeing income they never imagined which is helping them, and the communities of which they are apart, crawl out of their previous economic malaise. One example of this can bee seen in the story of Jim Long of Carrollton, Ohio.
Long lives on a farm that his family has owned since the 1830’s. The farm used to grow hay and straw until his father started a farm equipment business in the 1950’s. After Long attended Ohio State and spent time in the Army, he came back to work for the family business. During that time, his mother encouraged him to take out “the girl at the bank”, which led to him marrying his wife Marsha, of Cadiz.
From there, they had one son and two daughters and continued the farm equipment business. Unfortunately, like the rest of the country, the economy affected their business and they had to downsize.
Luckily, things changed when shale development came to town. According to Jim, a qualified and nice Landman from Chesapeake Energy came to talk about leasing their property. After consulting with neighbor and friend Vernon Cummings, they decided to lease with Chesapeake, since the company was doing most of the business around them. Since signing, Long said Chesapeake has done everything they said they would and they are happy with their experience.
EID-Ohio was able to ask Long about his experience with the leasing process and the how he thinks it affected his family and community:
It’s been my experience that life is a series of trade-offs, and about another ten years, it was about to be real quiet around Carrollton. Any time you have industry, you have coal mining, you have oil wells, you’re going to have some inconvenience. But so far, Chesapeake has done everything they said they would, and it’s certainly better than watching the community die on the vine—Jim Long (1:31)
Talking to Long, you get the sense he really cares about Carrollton. He feared the town would die and said there was no reason for young people to move back here. Stating, “It has breathed life back into Carrollton”, he’s grateful for its revitalization. He explains that although the rural areas aren’t as quiet sometimes, the jobs and revenue are worth it.
Well, most of the businesses were struggling and now you go past all the restaurants and the parking lots are full, gas stations are full, car dealerships as I understand are doing pretty well. It’s just an influx of people, and with them comes more money—Jim Long (2:26)
When asked what he did with the leasing money he told us that after only ever having one new tractor himself, he bought a new tractor. He also bought his wife a car, which she enthusiastically declared is a Mini Cooper. His wife said she still can’t grasp what has happened to them and said three times during our chat that it was “a gift to our family”.
Long left us with some final comments to give us a laugh:
I’m just happy for the community and I’m excited. If we hadn’t got a dollar out of it, I’d still be excited for what it has brought to Carrollton just in business, and it’s revitalized everything. But, I’m not saying we’re sorry we got the money—Jim Long (3:43)
Although he’s excited about revenue for his family, he told us he’ll never retire from the farm equipment business. It was clear that Long and his wife will remain involved with the community they love so much, especially now that they’ve helped it see the amazing benefits other communities are seeing across eastern Ohio from shale development.