LISBON - An agreement to maintain a county road in Middleton Township where a shale gas well will be drilled was approved this week by Columbiana County commissioners.
The road use maintenance agreement, or RUMA, is for 2.2 miles of Bye Road, which was recommended for approval by Chief Deputy County Engineer Bob Durbin.
Earlier this year, county Engineer Bert Dawson and his staff developed a standard RUMA as shale gas drilling in the county began to get underway in earnest. RUMA requires companies involved in the preparing and operating the drill site to upgrade and maintain the roads being used and to resurface them when drilling is completed.
According to Durbin, a well is expected to be drilled on the Benner property off Justison Road. Access will be from state Route 558 in Unity Township onto Bye Road - a county road -for 2.2 miles before reaching Justison Road.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has yet to issue a permit for the site, according to the ODNR website, but Durbin said before that companies are preparing drilling sites in advance of applying for a drilling permit, which takes only about 30 days to receive approval.
In other action at this week's meeting, commissioners:
- Agreed to hire Lisbon attorney John Ward to assist board President Mike Halleck in his negotiations to lease county property for drilling and related legal matters. Halleck was authorized earlier in the year to be the commissioners' sole negotiator.
Halleck asked for the authorization because of the unsure direction the East Liverpool lawsuit may go. East Liverpool is seeking any money commissioners receive for leasing county property to satisfy a $4.8 million judgment awarded the city in its breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Buckeye Water District. Commissioners are also on the hook for the judgment because the county once operated by the BWD.
- Scheduled a public hearing for 9:30 a.m. May 2 on a request by Matt Volino to close an abandoned 45-foot long right-of-way in Section 10 of Yellow Creek Township. Volino owns both sides of the right-of-way which leads to Swearingen's Mill Road.
- Renewed its contract for liability insurance with the County Risk Sharing Authority, a consortium of 66 Ohio counties that joined forces to provide coverage. The cost is $312,000, which is $1,500 less than last year.
-Renewed the annual contract for janitorial services at the county Department of Job and Family Services with Quaker Cleaning of Salem for $28,780. The amount is $10,000 more than what Quaker was paid last year when it cleaned the JFS at its old location in downtown Lisbon. But the JFS recently relocated to the new county government services building, and the square footage being occupied by the agency increased from 24,000 to 44,000 at its new home.
- Donated sheriff's cruiser - a 2008 Impala - to Salineville Police Department. This was done at the request of Sheriff Ray Stone.