LISBON, Ohio - A new shale gas lease agreement signed by Columbiana County Commissioner Mike Halleck, on behalf of the board, will bring a record $3.2-Million to the county's coffers.
The lease with DPS Penn, an agent for Chesapeake Energy, is for approximately 550-acres of land owned by the county.
Columbiana County will receive $5,850 for each acre, the highest fee ever paid to any government entity.
Halleck, who is the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, says a portion of that money will go in to an escrow account in the form of a loan to help the Buckeye Water District with a lawsuit.
Halleck said the full board will have to decide exactly what it wants to do with the rest of the money, but he expects some will also go towards repairs to infrastructure in the county, including boilers at the courthouse and a new roof at the jail.
"Of course we would like to re-establish a rainy day fund. We had that back in the 90s and it's certainly beneficial," Halleck said.
The county could also receive more money according to Halleck. He says that would be in the form of royalties once drilling on the land begins.