SALINEVILLE - Village Council voted unanimously this week to enter into an oil and gas lease with Chesapeake Exploration LLC.
The property being leased is the approximately 17-acre Woodland Cemetery located along state Route 644 inside village limits.
The lease is a non-service lease, meaning the graves and other cemetery property will not be disturbed by any potential drilling activity. In approving the lease agreement council waived all competitive bidding requirements.
According to Mayor Mary Smith, the lease rate for the property is still being negotiated. She noted it is not yet clear if the lease money will go to the cemetery board of trustees' general fund or to the village.
If the lease goes to the cemetery board general fund then the organization will get the full amount. However, if the village is given the lease it will have to hand over half of the money it receives to the Buckeye Water District.
As part of a settlement to a lawsuit between the village and Buckeye in 2012, the village must split half of its profits from any gas or oil lease with the water district.
There will be special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday to further discuss the lease.