UPDATE 5/23/2014 5:05 PM
Land owners cash-in on the shale industry, leasing their property sometimes for millions to oil companies.
And now local government wants to maximize the earning potential of public property.
Washington County plans to put up part of the public property.
The Washington County Commissioners leased mineral rights to Protege Energy.
It's the land the county home is on and the humane society across the street, totaling around 265 acres.
The county got a check for $1.25 million from MNW Energy.
The Washington County Commissioners are part of the Caywood group, a group of land owners in the area with around 7,000 acres in the same area.
Commissioner David White says the contract is for five years.
They are splitting up the check and putting it into two specific places.
Commissioner White says this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
They will not be drilling in residential areas.
If they do drill, it's around a mile under ground and a horizontal production well.
The option is there to have a drill pad on the land.
That will be worked out in the future.
After months of talking, County Commissioners sign lease papers with MNW Energy to lease some land.
County Commissioner David White says a total of 265 acres of land were signed over in a five year lease for a sum of 1.252 million dollars which turns out to be $4,750 per acre.
Commissioner White also says there can be no surface disturbances within 70 acres of the Washington County Home, but on the remaining property, surface drilling is approved.
Horizontal Drilling, which happens a mile below the surface, will be able to be used on all 265 acres of the property.
It is unknown when they will start drilling on the property.
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