Carrollton Council Dealing with Oil & Gas Matters; Commissioners Forget They Don't Own Land

From the Carrollton Free Press Standard:

Carrollton Council had a busy evening Monday filled with committee meetings, visitors and a full agenda.
Council received one bid for gas and oil rights.  Chesapeake Energy offered the village $5,800 per acre and 20 percent of gross royalties.  Village Solicitor Clark E. Battista will look over the bid and was directed by council to send Chesapeake an addendum, which includes a water clause, no drill clause, and omission of arbitration clause.  Battista explained the omission to arbitration clause would come into effect if there was a problem, the issue would go before the court, not to an arbitrator.In relation to gas and oil development, Chuck Lutton of S. Lisbon St. told council he is opposed and concerned for the possible development of the late Nan Bissell property into homes for gas and oil workers by Utica Shale Housing Group.
Mayor Frank Leghart said there is nothing concrete that the development will take place.  “We have reservations about the project and brought up the issues with Mr. Coen,” noted Leghart.  “We haven’t heard from him for two weeks.”
Councilman Luke Grimes asked Lutton what his concerns are.  “There is a lot of traffic and speeding vehicles using the alley,” stated Lutton.  “And a lot of small children playing near the area.”  Leghart told him Utica Shale Housing would not be able to use the alley as a means of ingress or egress.  If the development process begins, entry to the property would be from S. Lisbon St. only.  At that time, the village would block the alley into a dead end.
Lutton questioned if speed bumps could be installed in the alley.  Councilman Andy Gonda explained there are removable strips that could be used which would not interfere with the snowplow.  The village will consider this an official request and look into the matter.
Village resident Chris Rutledge asked council if the development occurs, would the housing qualify for bed tax income for the Carroll County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.  Leghart said while they list a daily fee which coincides with workers per diem, they actually sign a term lease.  However, he did say, the housing will either be considered transient housing, which the landlord would be responsible for six percent bed tax and 6.5 percent Ohio state sales tax.  The village is looking into the possibility of an ordinance requiring landlords to notify the village of the status of their rental agreement.
Ken Joseph told council an ordinance to that effect would be a burden on landlords.  He asked them not to do it or, if they decide to consider an ordinance, to not do it as an emergency.  “This adds another level of complexity to myself and other landlords,” Joseph said.  Leghart assured him, if an ordinance is written, it will be given three readings.
In another story from the Free Press Standard:
Carroll County Commissioners were poised to grant approval for seismic testing to be done on the county home property last week before they were reminded they no longer own the land.
Commissioners listened to a presentation from Mike Brazil of Cougar Land Services, a subcontractor for TGS, a firm doing seismic testing on 409 square miles of land from SR 62 south into Carroll County. Brazil said the county has about 750 acres in the project.
“I’m sure you know about the 2D testing done on highways,” Brazil stated. “Now we are being asked to do 3 D testing for a look at on the land off the roads.”
The project involves drilling three and one-half inch holes 30 feet deep into the ground and setting of a charge into the hole. The holes are 240 feet apart. The charge creates “waves” which are then recorded on geophones, which will be placed on top of the ground. The geophones remain in place for about three weeks.
The data is used to obtain information on gas and oil resources 8,000 to 9,000 feet below the surface.
“This process is important for the development of resources in this area, ”Brazil noted. “If everyone cooperates, we will get a good idea of what is down there.”
Commissioners expressed concern about drilling holes at the site of the former landfill on Chase Rd. and said they needed to review the landfill acreage with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency before signing any contract.
Following that session, the FPS contacted a commissioner to remind him the county transferred the Commerce Park land to the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) about six weeks ago.
During Monday’s session, which Brazil attended, commissioners noted they were waiting for a reply form the EPA and referred him to the CIC for a contract for Commerce Park acreage.

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