Monroe gaining oil, gas funds

WOODSFIELD – Monroe County is receiving more than $391,000 as well as oil and gas royalties a result of leasing 78.2694 acres of county-owned land to XTO Energy Inc., Fort Worth, Texas.

It’s a five-year lease, and the amount being received for “the signing, lease bonus or initial consideration for the lease shall be in the amount of $5,000 per acre ….,” according to the agreement. The total is $391,347.

Mike Cannon of the Texas energy company met last week with the commissioners about the lease for the land near the Monroe County Airport in Center Township.

During Monday’s meeting, commissioners conducted a viewing in Brownsville and a hearing about unused streets and alleys in that community, heard reports about the Monroe County Emergency Medical Services and the 911 emergency system and was informed about an office relocation.

A petition was received to close unused streets and alleys in Brownsville, which is in Benton Township. Present for the viewing with the commissioners during the morning were Benton Township trustees Dale Dietrich, Floyd Earley and Ronnie Busche.

No objections to closing those streets and alleys were voiced during a public hearing during the afternoon, and commissioners approved a motion to close them. Dietrich was present for the hearing.

An update on the EMS was given by Dave Kuhn of the EMS Association.

Matt Brake of Swiss Valley Associates, 911 coordinator, reported house numbers are being attached to the building footprints on the 911 map to show the location of the house or building associated with an address for a property.

“The estimated cost for this work is $19,255.90,” Brake noted. “To work on this task at no additional charge to the county, Swiss Valley Associates is doing this work in addition to the other 911 coordination work under the current 911 contract.’

He explained there are 8,194 address points in the county. The building footprints in Ohio Township (528 addresses) and Lee Township (586 addresses) are completed, and Salem Township (531 addresses) is being reviewed.

Ongoing work includes the addition of new address points to the 911 map and updates to the Master Street Address Guide. He pointed out that this work sometimes requires field verification of the location of houses and calling or mailing the owner to request information.

The footprints for the campgrounds are nearly ready to be added to the 911 map. Brake said all the campgrounds along the Ohio River have been drawn, and there are a few campgrounds in the county that need to be drawn yet.

In other news, Brake reported the flood plain Geographic Information System data has been added to another desktop and laptop at the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency office.

According to the 911 coordinator, AT&T is looking into options for connecting the remote telephone terminal in Antioch to the generator at the Antioch Volunteer Fire Department.

One option would be to move the electrical service so that the remote terminal is powered from the fire station. Another option is for AT&T to provide a heavy extension cord from the battery charges that can be plugged into the fire station when the power is off.

Noting that wireless funding is still scheduled to conclude at the end of the year, Brake told of efforts to have it continue for at least another year until the ESINet Steering Committee can develop a new funding plan that includes a universal device fee.

He added that it isn’t expected any solid information will be received until after the November election.

Jeanette Harter, who heads the Monroe County Department of Job and Family Services, reported the Monroe Metropolitan Housing Authority now located at the former county home will move to the DJFS building. Commissioners had been trying to find another office for the housing authority.

At Harter’s request, an executive session was held about personnel in regard to compensation. After that session, a motion was approved to increase the pay of Charles Roberts, flood plan coordinator, by 75 cents an hour.