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Eagle Ford: Oil drilling is the hot topic in Falls City
Charlie Martens of Manticore Oil & Gas offers input Nov. 14 during the Falls City City Council’s discussion about an ordinance that regulates oil and natural gas drilling within the city limits.
FALLS CITY -- Those wishing to drill for oil and natural gas within the city limits here now will have to abide by the rules contained in a 28-page ordinance adopted Nov. 14 by the Falls City City Council.
The ordinance imposes several parameters, including well setbacks. For instance, a company cannot drill within 1,000 feet of a school, 600 feet of a residence or house of worship, or 75 feet from a public roadway.
The ordinance also sets rules for permitted increases above the normal ambient noise level for set periods within an hour. Never is the noise level allowed to exceed 85 decibels. A level of 50 decibels over the pre-drilling ambient noise level is allowed for just one minute in an hour.
The full text of the adopted ordinance is available at wilsoncountynews.com (See below PDF download of ordinance).
Also related to hydrocarbon exploration, the city council approved a lease with Manticore Oil and Gas. The council took this action after meeting in closed session.
“Myself and [the] council have worked hard to get what we felt was best for the city,” Mayor Brent Houdmann said following the meeting.
The city will be paid 22.5 percent in royalties, he said. Manticore also will pay Falls City a bonus payment of $2,500 per acre for slightly more than 80 acres -- approximately $200,000.
“They have not designated a drill site,” Houdmann said. “They report to be mainly looking for oil and have no interest at this point of producing gas off any of the wells drilled in and around the city.”
The council also began work on lease agreements with the Falls City Independent School District and the Falls City Youth League for the use of the city’s baseball field on Victoria Street.
“We had a lease with the school years ago but it expired and was never renewed so we just need to get something together to make sure everybody is on the same page,” Houdmann said.
**In attendance: Mayor Brent Houdmann and councilmen Andrew Wiatrek, Jeff Johnson, Steve Swierc, and Clarence Crawford; City Secretary Lauren Sturm, Public Works Supervisor Jeremy Mandel, and City Attorney Acie McAda.
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