Highland Heights Gas Well Decision to be Made Tonight
Come early if you want a seat.
There will be no pulling the issue from the agenda this time – Highland Heights City Council will vote on a proposed gas well lease at its 8 p.m. meeting today.
The lease was pulled from the agenda at the March 13 meeting so council could review a concern about wetlands in the city park, where the two gas wells would be located.
Council President Cathy Murphy said the lease will definitely be voted on tonight and although it's listed toward the bottom of the agenda with other items on for third reading, it will be moved up to the top spot so residents don't have to wait through the entire meeting.
Amy Feran, spokesman for Love Our Green Space, said the group sent out emails to interested residents encouraging them to show up at the meeting and voice their opinions.
"March 27th is now or never time, as far as keeping gas wells out of the park," the email stated.
"We've been reminding people that they can come and speak out and brought people up to date on what's happened," Feran said.
The gas well issue goes back to 2007, when council first authorized Mayor Scott Coleman to lease three gas wells, two in the park. That March, Coleman entered into the lease, which had language that the city must approve any sites.
Bass Energy obtained two permits and a gas well committee was formed in late 2007 to address potential locations. Then council rescinded the lease in January 2008, stating health and safety concerns and lack of good locations for wells. That prompted the Bass Energy lawsuit for breach of contract.
Although a 2008 charter amendment, passed by 73 percent of voters, prohibits park land from being sold or leased without voter approval, attorney John O'Neil, the city's legal counsel, said a judge ruled that amendment does not apply retroactively to the lease already signed.