Drillers allowed access to water on county land

LISBON – Columbiana County commissioners have agreed to sell water from a small stream for use in drilling at a nearby shale gas well site.

The agreement with Chesapeake Energy was brought up at this week’s board of commissioners meeting and is for Cold Run Creek, a small stream that runs through the farm land owned by the county off County Home Road in Center Township.

Under the five-year agreement, Chesapeake Operating would pay the county $5 per 1,000 gallons of water taken from Cold Run Creek.

Commission Chairman Mike Halleck, who had been given permission by his colleagues to negotiate and sign agreements of this sort, put the agreement on the agenda so it could be journalized and made part of their official record.

In related news, commissioners approved a road-use maintenance agreement with Chesapeake for 2.3 miles of Gavers Road – between U.S. Route 30 and Lisbon-Dungannon Road – to access the Henceroth well site in Hanover Township.

Commissioners also voted to place a letter of reprimand in the personnel file of Edie Dillard, deputy director of the county Emergency Management Agency. This occurred following a five-minute executive session.

Commissioner Tim Weigle said afterwards it had to do with Dillard changing building security systems at the EMA without their knowledge or approval. Security swipe cards for the new system were then issued to EMA staff, who work for commissioners.

“She should have just come to commissioners and told us this is what they wanted to do, but that didn’t happen,” Weigle said. As a result, the new security software was removed.

Halleck said this represented a breach of security since the commissioners, in conjunction with the sheriff, are in charge of issuing the swipe cards used to gain building access. He said purchases of this kind must go through the county data processing board anyway since they are tied into the county’s swipe-card access system.