Antero seeks city rights
It may still be several years away, but city of Rifle officials are preparing for oil and gas drilling activity to come within city limits in the future.Antero Resources, which recently announced plans to drill in the Panoramic subdivision north of Silt, is also seeking to obtain mineral rights owned by the city of Rifle. The company invited city representatives on a field trip last week to look at their operations in Fort Worth. City Attorney Lee Leavenworth, planning director Matt Sturgeon and Tom Stuver with the Downtown Development Authority toured the sites and reported to city council members Wednesday night.Leavenworth advised council members that there was very little they could do to stop the drilling, and suggested the city negotiate and plan for the inevitable. He recommended that Council hold several public education sessions for citizens.”It’s clear to staff that gas drilling is coming,” Leavenworth said. “It’s coming to Silt in April, and I can’t believe that it’s far behind in Rifle.”But to help mitigate the impacts of drilling – visual, noise, streets, water and air quality – the city could negotiate a lease agreement with the company for any wells drilled around or in city limits to help set some regulations.”Our options are to do nothing and see what happens or try to be proactive by trying to regulate it through the leasing process,” Leavenworth said.Council took no action on the matter.”We want to stay ahead of the curve,” said Mayor Keith Lambert. “Right now we’re just educating ourselves and trying to gather information.”
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Policy that dictates what for-profit activities should be officially sanctioned within Glenwood Springs parks is being reviewed by city staff and will likely come before the city council for final approval later this summer.