Tue., 7:17am: Chesapeake leases mineral rights in cemetery

SALINEVILLE-Village council approved an ordinance to accept a lease agreement between the village and Chesapeake Exploration LLC at a special meeting Monday night. By declaring the ordinance on an emergency measure, council was able to approve the ordinance in one meeting.

The property being leased is Woodland Cemetery located along state Route 644 in nearby Washington Township. The cemetery’s deed is held by the village. The lease will take in roughly 17 acres of cemetery property. The village will receive $44,145 annually for the lease.

Under the lease agreement, the village will also receive 15 percent of the royalties from any drilling. It is unclear what the village will use the money for, or if it will have to be shared with Buckeye Water District as part of a settlement to a 2012 lawsuit between the two parties. The term for the lease will be five years, effective Aug. 19 of this year to Aug. 18, 2018. After the initial term, the village will be given the option to renew for another five years.

The lease agreement states that there will be no surface operations at the cemetery. This was done so as to not disturb any graves, according to Mayor Mary Smith.

Other agreements in the lease state that Chesapeake will not use any water from the leased land, will not use the land for storage of equipment and will not use the site for disposal wells or storing other water disposal facilities.