CANTON, Ohio (AP) — A northeast Ohio city is planning to hire a consultant to look into leasing city-owned property for gas and oil drilling.

The Canton city law director tells The Repository ( that the mayor can hire a consultant for up to $15,000 without city council approval.

However, the mayor cannot lease mineral rights without council approval.

Consultants will be hired to research deeds and compile information on city properties, including how close they are to underground water sources.

Opponents of gas and oil drilling told the council Monday they are concerned about water contamination and health problems from drilling.