Board approves plan to drill under Sutton school for gas/oil

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Tecumseh School Board members voted unanimously to approve a lease that will allow drilling for gas and oil under Sutton Elementary School at Monday night’s meeting.

Energy company spokes-man Thomas Rasmussen was in attendance at the meeting, and he commended the board on the comprehensiveness of the agreement. “You have done an excellent job of protecting the school and its property,” he told the trustees. “It is a very workable agreement.”

The district was approached earlier this year about the possibility of drilling under the school by Savoy Energy, Lp, and Kosko Energy, LLC., two Traverse City companies. The two companies sometimes partner with each other, as they have done in a number of local projects and elsewhere in southeastern Michigan. The two companies are operating in partnership through Master Key, LLC., of Grosse Pointe. The TPS lease is through Kosko.

Supt. Mike McAran said that he and trustee Stanley Ames, who is an attorney, had read and re-read the lease agreement and both were satisfied with the terms.

In a later press conference, McAran said that the district would be receiving one-sixth of the gross proceeds from any minerals extracted and that the district had already received $500 per acre for the right to drill beneath the school, which is located on 10 acres of land.

The equipment for the drilling will not be located on school property. The current technology allows drillers to begin operations at a remote location and angle the drill bit and piping used for extraction into the area where the minerals are thought to be located.

Rasmussen said after the meeting Monday night that actual explorative drilling would not begin until early next year. “At this point the indicators [for finding oil or gas under Sutton] are very positive,” he said. The Sutton school property is part of a larger reserve that the drilling companies are exploring, he said, adding that the partnership has already established a working well east of Adrian.

In other board proceedings Monday night:

McAran presented plaques to out-going trustees Karen Januszek and Kevin Packard for their service to the school district and its students during their four-year tenure on the board. The two trustees opted not to seek re-election to the board. Filling their seats at the expiration of their terms Dec. 31 are Roger Hart and Greg Johnson, who will be serving six-year terms beginning Jan. 1.

In other business, the board:

• Approved resolutions to participate in health plans A and B purchasing consortium agreement with the Lenawee Intermediate School District

• Approved the annual summer tax resolution

• Accepted the resignation of Kristalyn Musselman as girls’ varsity softball coach

• Accepted a donation of $1,000 from the Toledo Community Foundation to Tecumseh Middle School to be used for trip scholarships for students who are unable to afford field trip expenses

The board will hold one more meeting this year. The trustees normally meet twice each month, but for the month of December the board elected to hold one meeting on Monday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.




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