News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

November 12, 2013

Board of Public Works tables oil, gas lease with city

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Board of Works and Public Safety on Tuesday tabled a proposed oil and gas lease with Pioneer Oil Co.

The lease would pay the City of Terre Haute royalties for any oil or gas produced and sold from drilling operations that are planned for an area north of the overpass on Fort Harrison Road.

Such leases typically pay property owners for oil or gas extracted from below their land. The lease proposed Tuesday to the Board of Works would pay the city for oil and gas extracted from below public roads, sidewalks and other city-owned pieces of property.

The board was unfamiliar with the drilling operation in question and chose to table the lease until its next meeting, set for Nov. 25 in City Hall. No one representing Pioneer Oil was at the meeting to answer questions.

The Vigo County Area Plan Commission approved a subdivision of property several months ago in connection with this drilling operation. The property already had a “mining overlay” so the commission was not asked to make any zoning changes for the drilling to take place.

n The Board of Works approved a request from Meyer Najem Construction of Fishers to place a construction trailer on a sidewalk near North Fourth Street and Seventh Avenue. The trailer will be part of construction plans for the Mainstreet project, a 70- to 80-bed skilled nursing/

assisted living facility near Union Hospital on property formerly known as Memorial Park.

The city on Friday closed the deal to sell Memorial Park for $1 million, said Cliff Lambert, executive director of the Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment.

Mainstreet, a Cicero-based real estate development company, expects to employ close to 100 people at the facility. Construction is not expected to begin until after the first of the year, Lambert said.

The Board of Works declared Memorial Park, “surplus property” in July of last year. That allowed the city to sell the 5.7-acre park property to Mainstreet.

n The board also approved a contract with Atlas Excavating to construct a new lift station for the city. Lift stations are used to direct wastewater and stormwater to the wastewater treatment plant.

Atlas was the sole bidder for the project and was awarded the contract at $507,417.

Atlas, a West Lafayette-based contractor, recently settled a multi-year lawsuit with the city over problems the company encountered while laying sewer lines near the Woodgate subdivision. The city’s sanitary district paid Atlas $500,000 to settle the case last month.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes


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