If you are looking for an apartment in Bradford County these days, you might have a hard time finding affordable housing. The gas drilling industry has come to town, and they need lots of places for their employees to stay. This has caused rents to skyrocket. Two, three, and even four times as much according to a report by WBNG-TV in Binghamton, NY. A two-bedroom apartment on Main Street in Towanda is renting for a whooping $800 a month these days. Even single rooms in private homes can command $750 a month. This problem is due to the influx of gas drillers who are coming in from Texas and other areas of the country.
Gas companies are considering renting or buying large warehouses as well. A dormitory is planned for Athens to house gas industry workers. Local motels are experiencing a high volume of business, but tourists and other travelers often cannot get rooms. At a recent meeting in Sayre (PA), a Chesapeake Energy spokesperson explained why gas drillers are planning for residential facilities:
One audience member said that Sen. Gene Yaw's office has heard many concerns about the proposed Athens Township residential facility, and has heard people saying that they think Chesapeake is trying to isolate themselves and won't be much support for local businesses.
Grove said that Chesapeake is not trying to isolate their workers by using a housing facility, but they are looking to build the facility because they don't have many places to put their workers. Currently, he said, they have leased the entire Towanda Motel to house their workers.
"The nature of our business requires that we can provide our workers with a good safe place to rest in their off hours," Grove said. "These guys work very hard."
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