The squeaky wheel gets the grease, it has been said. Apparently it also can get the asphalt.
Some gas drilling companies doing business in the Northern Panhandle took a pro-active approach from the start in repairing roads damaged by heavy trucks. But a few, notably in Marshall County, lagged to the point public officials and residents began complaining. Marshall County Sheriff John Gruzinskas actually testified before a congressional committee about problems related to drilling.
But the situation has improved, county commissioners noted during their meeting this week. One company about which complaints were heard during the past year, TransEnergy, "really stepped it up" in regard to working with the state Department of Transportation to ensure damaged roads are repaired, Commissioner Brian Schambach said.
"Things are going smoothly" regarding the drilling companies, Commissioner Don Mason agreed.
That is good news and, of course, some of it is because gas company officials intended to do the right thing all along.
But it probably is no coincidence the change occurred after Marshall County officials made their displeasure and their intention to do something about it very clear - and very public. That no-nonsense attitude will become even more important in the future, as new, sometimes smaller, companies become involved in the gas drilling boom.