LAWRENCEVILLE - Ed Trask and his Marcellus Shale Community Education Team is looking for members, he told a group of municipal officials Wednesday.
About two dozen representatives from the area attended a special meeting Trask facilitated at the township building here.
The purpose of the group is to help manage the economic and social impacts of Marcellus Shale gas play in Tioga County.
"We are looking for three or four people here willing to represent your community on a local team," Trask told the group.
Teams already are forming in the surrounding communities of Mansfield, Wellsboro and Blossburg, Trask said, and he wants to form one from the Lawrenceville area.
"I think the fastest growing areas of the county are going to be Mansfield, Wellsboro and Lawrenceville," he said, adding that he thinks the valley between Mansfield and Covington will "fill in" in the next few years, mainly because of the discovery of gas within the Marcellus Shale.
Guest speaker Jack Showers, community relations liaison with East Resources Inc., explained the gas industry presence in Tioga County and answered questions from several people in the group.
In Tioga County, Showers said, there already are 255,000 acres leased for natural gas wells, with up to between 6,000 and 7,000 wells drilled by East in the next several years.
With that, jobs will come, and plenty of them, he said. Some of those jobs will be filled by local people, while others will move here with their families, Showers said.
Trask, who plans to construct a 300-unit housing development on property owned by his family at Canoe Camp, said much more housing than that will be needed for the influx of people who will move to the area in the next five to 10 years.
Before the natural gas industry discovered the gas trapped in the shale beneath Tioga County, it was considered to be a "slowly dying" county, Trask said.
"Now," he said, "I think we are going to become 'enriched rural.' "