April 2, 2013

Council looks at mineral leases

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Proclmations, the oath of office and the reappointment of a vice mayor all took place last night during the Chickasha City Council meeting.

Consideration for the leasing of the mineral rights for large portions of land for oil and gas leasing near Chickasha Lake also came under discussion. Although a public announcement and bid awarding is scheduled for May 6, the council opted to discuss the issue in an upcoming workshop meeting.

"Every time we do this, I'm asked 'Why are we selling land,'" Council Member Phylis Steelman said. "I want to make sure people are aware that we are leasing the mineral rights and not selling the land."

Vice Mayor J. E. Epperson also expressed concerns over the division of the land tracts, stating some exceed 500 acres and he would like to see a maximum leasable amount of 160 acres.  

Mayor Hank Ross read two proclamations declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and April 9 as National Service Recognition Day.

The first proclamation addressed the alarming number of sexual assaults and the importance of the community embracing those who have sexually abused.

The second addressed the national trend of mayors and city councils moving toward utilizing community volunteers more commonly.

The council also reappointed Vice Mayor J. E. Epperson to another term in a 9-0 vote.

Current council members Mike Sutterfield, Blake Elliot, Phylis Steelman, John Toland and John Jernigan all took their oath of office last night as well, beginning their new term in their respective seats.

The council also discussed an array of issues including the usage of the public library's meeting room as a rental facility for public events.

The council passed this motion noting that usage will cost the same regardless of the length of the event.