Corinth City Council Overloaded With Questions at Workshop

On Thursday April 7, the Corinth City Council workshop held a workshop regarding the permit application for two wells on the property of the Lake Sharon Christian Center. Report by Corinth Cares’ Tom Bowater:

The City Council of Corinth held a regularly scheduled workshop on Thursday, April 8, 2010 with the overwhelming lion’s share of the agenda devoted to the proposed drilling application, along with eleven variances, for the site at the Lake Sharon Christian Center. The purpose of such a workshop is

to give the Council an opportunity to question City Staff, and any party they choose to speak, regarding the permit application and variances. The citizens are not permitted to speak yet they may remain present and listen and observe. Traditionally these workshops are held in a small meeting room around a conference table, yet on April 8, 2010, it was held in Council Chambers in consideration of the quantity of residents wishing to listen and observe. This workshop also allows for the Council to discuss this matter amongst themselves, as a quorum, and still be in compliance with the open meeting act.

The Council examined and discussed the variances. Each and every Council Member, along with the Mayor, had an abundance of questions for Staff. Questions ranged from seemingly custodial issues, such as how funds will be held for damage to roads, to more ministerial and esoteric issues such as how children will be protected while using the drilling site for camp outs, meetings and more.

A common opinion that appeared to be shared by most Council and Staff was that most everybody “Did not know” the answers to such questions as “”How will the air be affected?”, “How will the water be affected?”, and “How many trucks will be transporting apparently hazardous waste over our City streets?”…..

Of interest to many present, was when City Planner Fred Gibbs acknowledged, in front of Council, that if the variances and permits were granted, that there would definitely be more gas wells drilled at the proposed site.

It was also interesting to note that our City Attorney, also present at the workshop to counsel the Council, reminded the Council that “the Council is charged with asking the Applicant (XTO) to consider other alternatives…” to the sites currently selected.

What seemingly raised quite a few eyebrows, was when a representative from the Lake Cities Fire Department was asked by Council what their contingency plans would entail in the event of a gas well fire. This representative told the Council that they would not have the resources, manpower, or ability to fight such a fire, and that they would have to “watch it burn” while commencing the process of the evacuation of nearby residents. This representative also went on to state that our Fire Department would be dependent upon the drilling operator to deal with the fire.

All in all, it appears that the Council and their Staff are taking a serious look at all issues involved and are taking their responsibilities quite seriously also.

The Denton Record-Chronicle als reported on the issue – click here.

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