New Castle News

Schools

March 24, 2012

Drill deals being considered by school districts, communities

NEW CASTLE — Marcellus and Utica Shale-related drilling and leases are polka-dotting the landscape of Lawrence County.

Several local government entities, including school districts, are considering or have entered land lease offers, and at least three drilling companies are pursuing leases and planning to establish drilling sites throughout the county.

They include Shell Oil Co., Hilcorp Energy of Houston, Texas, and REX Energy of State College, Pa.

According to the Lawrence County Register and Recorder’s office, 1,642 leases were signed in Lawrence County between Jan. 1 and March 19. An additional 1,877 leases were signed in 2011.

Local school districts gave leasing status updates this week but attempts to reach superintendents in Laurel and Neshannock about any leasing potential were unsuccessful.

The Ellwood City Area School District has no land to lease, according to superintendent Frank Aloi.

Below are some of the activities currently involving local government groups:

 WILMINGTON

The Wilmington Area School Board has called a special meeting for 7 p.m. Monday in the high school library to consider two proposals for shale drilling on district-owned land.

 One is from Shell Oil, and the other from CoExprise, a company that seeks and negotiates leases to help the landowners get a fair deal.

District superintendent Dr. C. Joyce Nicksick said the district has 73.35 acres to lease.

An email she received from Shell Oil Co. she said, indicates that Shell is interested only in district-owned properties in Pulaski and Plain Grove townships where the district owns school buildings and a total of 21.009 acres.

Shell has offered $3,250 per acre and 18 percent royalties, Nicksick said. In its email, Shell urged the school board not to sign with companies that only negotiate and do not drill.

Nicksick said she intends to invite representatives of Shell and of CoExprise to Monday’s meeting, and noted that while Shell is interested in the Plain Grove and Pulaski properties, CoExprise expressed interest in leasing all of the district’s acreage. This includes the school properties in New Wilmington Borough and in Wilmington Township, Mercer County.

The school board members on Monday took a straw poll to see if there is interest in entering any leases, before it set the a special meeting.

“I don’t want it,” board member Dr. David Swerdlow declared.

But the majority of the members attending said they are willing to consider it. Dr. Bo DiMuccio was absent from the meeting.

Nicksick told the board that CoExprise will finish its leasing activity in the county by March 31.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Schools
  • money.jpg Up through the ground comes education cash

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg Charter school petitions court with signatures

    The New Castle Arts Academy Charter School has petitioned the Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas for an appeal.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Schools wait years to receive state’s share of construction bills

    More than 200 school building projects are awaiting money from the state — in some cases months and years after they cleared all other hurdles of Pennsylvania’s approval process.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vo-tech staffers receive Pride and Promise awards

    The Lawrence County Career and Technical Center’s joint operating committee has presented Pride and Promise awards to two employees.

    April 1, 2014

  • Rich.jpg Official sorting out vo-tech finances

    Second of two parts: The Lawrence County Career and Technical Center is plowing through a financial quagmire with help from the Laurel School District.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Rich.jpg Overtime pay the crux of vo-tech forensic audit

    First of two parts: Lawrence County Career and Technical Center’s former assistant business manager allegedly logged overtime while on vacation, an audit report shows.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Audit report details alleged discrepancies

    Forensic auditors examining Lawrence County’s vocational-technical school funds focused on overtime pay of the assistant business manager.

    March 26, 2014 1 Story

  • Audit shows more than overtime issues

    A forensic audit of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center finances turned up more than alleged unauthorized overtime pay.

    March 26, 2014

  • Letter.jpg Our Opinion: Recording executive sessions will limit abuse

    Whenever governing bodies have public meetings, they often opt to conduct executive sessions.This is perfectly legal under Pennsylvania law — so long as the basic purpose for the executive session is explained to the public and so long as officials refrain from discussing matters in private that are required to be addressed in the open.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • State sponsoring dog license poster contest

    The state Department of Agriculture is inviting  students to enter a poster contest about the importance of dog licensing. The contest is open to all Pennsylvania students of grades 1 through 6, enrolled in public, private or home schooled children. The entry deadline is April 30.

    March 20, 2014

House Ads
Poll

When will you start mowing your grass?

Been there, done that
Probably this week
Not until May
You mean, when will I HIRE someone to mow my grass?
     View Results