Highland Heights Approves $600,000 Settlement in Gas Well Lawsuit
Bass Energy paid to drop breach of contract claim.
The gas well controversy ended quietly with no discussion Tuesday as Highland Heights City Council approved a $600,000 settlement with Bass Energy.
Council President Cathy Murphy said that city officials will have plenty to say about the matter, but did not want to speak publicly until the settlement was signed.
"It's not done until it's done," she said.
Bass Energy had filed a $7 million lawsuit in 2008 after council rescinded a lease to drill two gas wells in Highland Heights Community Park. Mayor Scott Coleman signed that initial lease in 2007.
As a proposed settlement to the lawsuit, council considered another lease earlier this year. That lease, which also would have placed two gas wells in the park, was unanimously rejected by council in April.
Amy Feran led the opposition to that lease as president of Love Our Green Space and told council Monday that residents are pleased the matter has been settled.
"I'm glad to see that the Bass suit is about to be resolved," she said. "Residents are just as relieved as you are."
However, she added that residents have expertise that city officials could have tapped into before signing a lease for gas wells.
"It could have been avoided if residents were brought into the discussion early on," Feran said.
"It was really a remarkable thing that Highland Heights resident were willing to step forward and speak up," she added.