Message by Michael Dallas, President
My mother says I have a gift for stating the obvious. I am going to use my gift today to (hopefully) outline what is known, what is not known, and what we need to start talking about with respect to the drilling issues we will be facing. I've also listed the email and web site for this issue at the bottom.
THE KNOWN FACTS:
1) We are VERY different than other neighborhoods with respect to drilling and our ability to influence what happens. In other parts of the city, most of the land is in private hands (e.g. homeowners, investors, etc.). Since the minerals are in private hands, groups of owners have been able to influence and dictate the price and the method and location of extraction. In this part of town, the City of Fort Worth owns most of the gas and open drillable space. The city - not the neighbors - probably will have the final say in what happens.
2) There is no "WHERE" on well locations right now. That is THE big concern. The city council has put this in the hands of the engineering department. My limited understanding (paraphrased) is that bids come back from gas companies with maps marked with "X"'s (drill sites, etc.) Engineering then "works on it," (whatever that means) proposes a plan, and chooses the bids. My best wild guess is that once engineering proposes the plans (and the drill sites), our "public participation" will have little effect.
3) Right now, we have choices to make on how we participate in the decision:
a) We can wait for the city to "get bids" and "propose" a plan. Since the city owns most of the property and minerals (and doesn't really need our consent to do whatever it wants), I doubt we will have much effect on getting any desired changes after engineering has put x's on a map.
b) We can start talking to the engineering department now. My feeling is that few people at the city want to talk with us right now. The feedback from the city has been, "It's only in engineering. We will let you know when it's your turn to participate." Again, my feeling is that we need to make every effort to work with engineering on this process now or we will have little effect.
4) We need to decide how we will make decisions in the future. The wells will have to go somewhere. There is no "good" place for them. In most likelyhood, we will have a situation where everyone can't be completely happy. If we can't reach a consensus on the issues, we will have no direction and no voice. The city will do what it wants without our input. We need to work on the "how we decide" problem. Every part of the neighborhood wants something different. To be effective, we need to cooperate and speak with a unified voice. I am open to suggestions on how we make decisions.
Here is an example of how we might work together:
Each area in the neighborhood could choose a representative to serve on a committee. The members will discuss problems, solutions, coordinate with people at the city, and talk with their neighbors.
5) We probably want professional help. Knowledge is power. A good minerals expert (e.g. attorney) may be able to help us get more money and influence the drill sites. We may have more leverage than we realize. An expert costs money though.
6) You need to stay informed and continue to participate.
We have been using an email discussion forum. This is good. However, it makes it difficult to "catch people up" if they were not included. So that everyone has access to the dicussion, the comments are being posted to a web site at:
(You also can get to the site through the http://www.ScenicShores.net web site by clicking "THE DRILLERS ARE HERE!" link.)
It would be handy for me if you would email your comments directly to the site at:
Your emailed comment will be automatically added to the web site.
Note: This is a public forum. Use good judgement in your comments (e.g. Don't say, "I'm a single female and live alone at ___").
Please contact me any questions or comments that you may have.
Scenic Shores Neighborhood Association