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Board agrees to lease mineral rights

By Staff | Sep 17, 2014

The Tyler County Board of Education is looking to lease the mineral rights for the property at A. I. Boreman Elementary School.

The board held a special session on Sept. 8 to declare the oil, natural gas, and other minerals beneath the surface of all board-owned property in and around AIB as surplus property for the purpose of offering the property for lease at auction pursuant to West Virginia Law.

The legal advertisement in this issue of the Tyler Star News lists the parcel as 8.735 acres.

Jeff Davis, treasurer for Tyler County Schools, told the board he was following up on a request the board had made a few weeks back to lease the oil and gas rights to the property.

He said he had worked with Luke Furbee and Superintendent Robin Daquilante on the legal issues involved and everything seems to be in order. He explained the bidding process and assured the board there was a minimum bid set and the lease is well written. He said there would be no danger of any pads being built near or around the school.

The surplus declaration was necessary before an auction could take place. The auction is scheduled for Sept. 22, 1 p.m., at the board of education office.

P. J. Wells made a motion to declare the property surplus and it was seconded by Scott Strode. The vote was unanimous by the board.

The also voted unanimously to give signature authorization to the superintendent. This allows her to take all action necessary to auction the lease mineral rights for the declared property for the purposes of extraction of the oil, natural gas, and other minerals.

This authorization also includes the authority for her to approve bidding rules for the lease auction, including but not limited to setting minimum bid amounts, reserving the right to reject any and all bids including bids that meet or exceed the minimum bid if deemed to be in the best interest of the school system, to approve and pay for advertisements for the lease auction, to conduct the lease auction herself or to designate another school employee to do so.

She is also authorized to enter into lease agreements on behalf of the Board of Education, as well as any and all other necessary and proper actions for the lawful lease of the declared surplus property for the purpose of oil and gas drilling and other mineral extraction.

In another matter, Davis also presented the board with the Annual Financial Statement for the Fiscal Year 2014. According to Davis the board is still doing well, even though the district is not yet realizing much gain from gas drilling in the county. He said he has been assured it is coming, but it could still be a couple years down the road. “The excess levy is what really keeps the schools going, without the levy we would have to make drastic cuts,” said Davis.

“We are still doing well and if the pipelines ever get going, we should be in very good shape.”

Davis said the down side is the more local money they receive, the less state aid they get.

On a motion by Linda Hoover and a second by Jimmy Wyatt, the board unanimously approved the Annual Financial Statement.