VIENNA - An agreement between a multi-national energy company and a local landowners group for the right to drill for natural gas should benefit a local school district.
Officials with Mathews Local Schools plan tonight to authorize a lease agreement between BP and the Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley (ALOV), in which the district has registered land.
''We have 87 acres that we have registered with them,'' Superintendent Lewis Lowery said Monday.
The acreage is broken up, with most of it near Baker and Currie elementary schools.
Last month, BP announced it had leased 84,000 acres of land in the Utica/Point Pleasant shale formation in Trumbull County for oil and gas production. Those wells have yet to be drilled. At $3,900 per acre, the total value of the leases is about $330 million.
Under the agreement, the district would receive about $339,000.
When you go WHAT: Special meeting for Mathews Board of Education
WHEN: 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Mathews board offices, Vienna
TOPICS: Authorize lease agreement and approve work on the high school gym
''That will not buy any new buildings, but that might be able to take care of that septic problem,'' Lowery said. ''It's a one time shot in the arm. We'll probably work on some roof repair and paving.''
Mathews High School has had ongoing issues with its outdated septic system, which the EPA has mandated be replaced even though a new sewer system is on the horizon.
''The EPA mandated we replace the septic. By the end of June it should be complete,'' Lowery said. ''The Trumbull County engineers are telling me the sewer should be down this way in a year to year and a half.''
The district has looked for ways to cuts costs in the past few years, including closing Neal Middle School.
The meeting also will be to authorize a purchase order for work on the high school gymnasium.
''The basketball floor rippled. Some moisture got under the floor, and they are going to work on that,'' Lowery said. ''We're looking for where the water is coming from and it may involve some roof repair or spouting. Whatever it is, we are going to fix the cause.''