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Large Turnout for Oil Development Public Meeting

Large Turnout for Oil Development Public Meeting

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Published by Scott Skokos

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Published by: Scott Skokos on Apr 18, 2012
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04/18/2012

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Large
Turnout
for
Oil
Development
PublicMeeting
By Jim
Stock
Thursday,
March
.
15tn,
a
packed
Legion
Hall
in
Lemmon
heard
frorn
visitors
from
the
North;
visitors
who
have
seen
first-handwhat
the
oil
business
does to
their community.
An
estimated
125
people
attended
the
public
meeting,
which
lasted
over
two
full
hours,
and allowed
plenty
of
time
for
Q&A
by
those
who
came.
Holly
Waddell emcccd
the
rnccting,
andgaveintroductions.
First
up
was
Donny Nelson,
a
rancher
lrom
Watford
City,
North
Dakota,who
had
quite
a
story
to
share.
Donniesaid
his
lamily
has been
hoping
for
oil
on
their
propedysince he was
bom,
in
1953.
Only
recently was
their
hopes
truly
realized,
orin
his
words, "thistime,
it's
lbr real!"
Mark Trechock
of
Dickinson visits withCorsonCounty
Commissioner
Don
Pazie
Clearly
it
is
not
all
"milk
and
honey,"
as
Donnydescribed
thepopulationspiking
fiom
about
1500
to7500,
not including
theman-camps, andsaid
crimeis
a
bigproblem.He brought
a
local
paper
with
him, whichhadpageone articles
of
prostitution
arrests, and
said
"we
neverused
to
lock
anything.
Now
welock
every-
thing.
Oil witl
change
your
community,"
he
admon-ished.
"A
lot
of
what
happens
is
good,
but
it's
notallgood."Donnywent
on
to
describe
that local
traffic
was
a
problem,
with
long
delays
due
to
road construction.
One
major
concern
expressed
waspertaining
to city
govemment,
with
infrastructure
and
city
ordinances
simply not
prepared
fur
the
rapid
influxof
commerceand
people.
"If
thisiscoming
(to
Lemmon),
organize
now.
Don't
wait!"
,Many
in
the
audience
were landowners,
who
clearly
wanted
to
leam
what
theprosand cons were, should
oil
production
expand
into
our
area.
Others
in
theaudience
were Rep.
Betty
Olson, Lemmon
cily
officials,
local
law
enforcement,
and
area
county
commissioners.
Donny
warned about
the
need
fbr
large
amounts
of
water
for
defracking.
"The
retumu,ater
is
contarni-nated,"
he
said.
"This
needs
to
be
managed."
As
to
landowners responding
to
developers,
he
was
adamant:
"Do
not
signthe
first
lease
agreementyou
get!"He
wamed
thatyou
will
be
taken
advantage
of,
and
that
it
is all
aboutmoney.
"This
is
a
tough
business,"
he
warned.
Legal
opinionsare
critical
to
obtain
before
signing
documents.Ftrolly,next
introducedMark Trechock
of
Dickinson,
a
former staff
member
of
the Dakota
Resource
Council.
Mark
wanled
to
first
geta feel
for
the
audience,andaskedseveralquestions
of
the
crowd,
such
as
who
had
property
in North
Dakota.When
asked,
"Who
here has
drilling
currently
going
on,on
their
properly?"
no
one
raised
their
hand.
This
seemed
to
relievethe
speaker,
realizing
thal,
at
least
in
the
Lemmon
area,
we
are
"ahead
ofthe
curve."
Mark
spent
a lot
of
time
explaining
the rights
of
property
owners.
He
suggested
that
the
mineral rightsunder
yourlandmay
not
beyours,as
the
legal
land-
owner.This
needs
to
beresearched.and can
take
time.
(ContinuectonPage
l2)

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