5/16/09 Dena Bosak, Tri-County SUNDAY Courier-Express
DuBOIS - The City of DuBois is still exploring the option of drilling gas wells at the Anderson Creek Reservoir.
In December, the city council approved a proposal with Carizzo of Houston, Texas, to drill Marcellus Shale depth gas wells on the watershed at the reservoir located in Union Township. The proposal included a title search at no cost to the city.
"We are still moving along," Mayor and acting Manager John "Herm" Suplizio said.
Suplizio said the title search has been completed and the city is starting to look at possible spots for drilling.
"We are looking forward to this venture because it will help the city out financially," he said, "but there is much more work that has to be done first."
Suplizio said there are still many state Department of Environmental Protection regulations that must be met.
"And of course, the city council's and my number one concern, now, and the whole way through this project, is the watershed," Suplizio said.
Suplizio said the city owns gas and oil rights to 2,000 acres. He said the city could lease all 2,000 acres and receive $500 per acre, which translates into $1 million.
The city could also receive 15 percent in royalties for the gas.
Regarding where the water source would come from if the drilling would take place, Suplizio said the city would be willing to sell the company the necessary water if it were asked.
"If they do it at the right time of the year, and we have the extra water," he said. "Also they have to ask us.
"They may also just decide to drill a well," he said. "They have a lot of options."
The city is still pursuing its quest for an alternate water source.
In December, the council approved a proposal with Moody and Associates of Meadville to evaluate the potential for developing a groundwater supply for the city.
Suplizio said the city has been working very hard at this. He said Steve Swope, public works superintendent; Scott Farrell, city technical engineer; Ben O'Shane of the water department and Chris Nasuti of Lee Simpson have been assisting Moody in the process.
Suplizio said the other water source will be wells. He said a possible location for the wells is near the transmission line next to the water filtration plant.
"We will keep moving forward with this project," he said. "Progress is essential to the city and the entire area to have an alternate water source, which may someday turn into our main source of water."
"The city council and myself realize how important water is now and how important clean water is in the future," Suplizio said. "This is a No. 1 priority we are looking into."