The commissioners signed the lease with Marietta-based MNW
Energy LLC to lease county lands for drilling on Thursday, and they say there
could be a lot
of investment money
coming to the county in the next few years.
The land in question, located in Marietta Township,
surrounds the Washington County Home and includes nearly 265 acres. At least 15 acres will be used for a
gathering pipeline. Although there can be no surface disturbances on the 100
acres closest to the County Home, the remaining 150 acres are fair game for
MNW officials told the Marietta Times that Oklahoma-based
Protégé Energy is providing the money in the lease deal, and their in-county
investments have reached $31 million, which more to come.
What do the Commissioners plan to do with the money? David White told WMOA News this morning…
need to keep in mind that this is a ‘windfall’. You need to look at it as a
one-time revenue. If you don’t designate it that way – and use it for things
like capital improvements – it’ll be assimilated into the general budget, and
that’ll be foolish.”
says $800,000 will be designated toward capital improvement to help ensure tangible
benefits from the deal. The other $450,000 will go into budget
stabilization—which isn’t binding for future commissioners.
explains one benefit from made possible by a budget stabilization fund...
of the things we’re looking at down the road is that, while any government or
business that pays (employees) every two weeks, once every few years you end up paying
27 times instead of 26. So having a stabilization fund helps soften the blow
when he have that extra pay (period).”
The lease amount works out to about $4,735 per
Story reported by Justin Bradley; edited and posted by Mike Cullums