Bridgeport schools gain gas-oil money

BRIDGEPORT – While most school districts in eastern Ohio have already sold their gas and oil rights, the Bridgeport Exempted Village School District was waiting for the right moment, according to Superintendent Ted Downing.

That moment came Wednesday night during the board of education’s regular monthly meeting in the administrative building on the schools campus. The 5-member panel unanimously approved entering into agreement with Great River Energy, LLC, for its 18-plus acres of land at $7,000 per acre. The lease was negotiated by the Eastern Ohio Utica Group.

“It’s a great thing for the district,” Downing said. “It’s a way we can get some additional money coming into the district that we can do some different things with. Hopefully, sometime in the future, with the 20 percent royalty rights, we’ll be able to do some bigger and better things.”

Downing stressed that there won’t be any pipes or drilling on school property because of rules on how far a pad must be away from a school.

“We meet that rule, so it was a good deal for us and we felt the price was right,” he said.

Allen Smith, a land surveyor and mineral consultant for EOUG, wanted to make sure everyone knows the school got a special deal.

“That was a special rate that we negotiated for the school solely,” he stressed. “We just can’t do that for everybody.”

Smith said the land in question is located behind the school and between the scoreboard at Bill Jobko Stadium and Interstate 70.

He said the lease is for 5-years with a 5-year option to renew, but the district will get 110 percent to renew for a second term. The royalties are 20 percent gross from the well head, with no deductions for transportation costs or processing/cleaning it, according to Smith.

“That’s straight what they can sell it for on the market.”

Named as students of the month were: Maclaine Murad (senior), John Christakis (junior), Morgan Marshall (sophomore) and Josie Bugaj (freshman). Each will receive a certificate of appreciation.

The board also honored the following media members for the nomination to the Ohio School Board Association’s Media Honor Roll. They included Crissy Clutter (WTOV), D.K. Wright (WTRF) and Kim North (The Times Leader). Each was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a copy of its Journal magazine, in which they are honored.

The Media Honor Roll recognizes media representatives statewide for fair and balanced reporting of news about public schools.

In other business, the board also overwhelmingly approved the following matters:

– the hiring of Kayla Amedro as freshman girls’ basketball coach;

– the hiring of Rod hammer as volunteer assistant wrestling coach;

– a medical leave of absence for Nicole Grady;

– the employment of Jennifer Calabrese, Amy Hammerquist and Christopher Sabatino as certified substitute teachers;

– giving Downing the authority to purchase a steamer for the kitchen when the need arises at an approximate cost of $8,500;

– authorizing Downing to check with Whiteside’s concerning the purchase of a van to transport students and athletic/academic teams.

North can be reached at