CORTLAND - The Lakeview Local Board of Education members and superintendent met this week with a local attorney to gather information regarding Utica Shale gas drilling.
The district holds approximately 140 acres of land on four parcels and is looking into the process of leasing land for natural gas drilling.
''It is under consideration, and we need to gather more information before we make a decision,'' Superintendent Robert Wilson said. ''We don't want to miss an opportunity for revenue.''
Four of the board's five members gathered in the superintendent's office Wednesday night to hear Marty Nosich's presentation.
In attendance were board president Larry Sherer and members Donna Zuga, Beth Harris and Troy Adair. Member Mary Williams was not in attendance.
''I think we need to collect a lot more information. We are very early in the process,'' Sherer said. ''Many private people are signing up and leasing, but we need a lot more information before we can reasonably do that.''
According to Wilson, it is the school officials' intention to gather as much information as they can and then to make the best decision they can for the district and its students.
''We want to be good neighbors, and that's why we are still gathering information,'' Wilson said.
As well as being a Cortland attorney, Nosich is also a member of a group of attorneys acting as a land group that looking to put together a large collection of acreage to negotiate prices for the landowners.
''We try to get a bunch of landowners together. There's no obligation and no fee,'' Nosich said Wednesday night.
Nosich's group, F&M Ohio Valley Landowners Group No.2, charges the landowners an eight percent fee off their upfront bonus money once a deal has been made.
Members of the board asked Nosich questions regarding the process, including how much time they had to make a decision.
''I think you have time,'' Nosich said. ''The natural gas prices are down. You have time. You can always do what you want to do.''
Bringing in additional revenue to the district, Wilson said, would benefit the students.
''The money would be spent on our students. Anything we can do to increase student achievement,'' he said.
Sherer agreed that the money is enticing but said he wants to make sure the board and the district make the best decision they can.
''With the losses from state funding and all the decreases school have experienced, it would be difficult to turn money away,'' he said. ''But, the kinds of decisions made could affect the property and usability of the site 50 to 100 years from now and it makes me a little leery.''
The district has had a compressed natural gas well on its property for several years.
''We power some of our buses on compressed natural gas and we have a CNG well on our property right now,'' Wilson said.