LISBON - A company that contracted with Lisbon nearly 15 months ago for exclusive rights to purchase millions of gallon of village water for the drilling industry has yet to draw a drop.
But two other companies have begun doing so, generating an additional $15,200 in revenue to date for the village.
It was in August 2011 that the village board of public affairs (BPA) agreed to sell water to LGB Land Services, which was going around Columbiana County securing access to water supplies for resale to oil and gas drilling companies working in the area. The contract was for two years, with the village required to supply up to 3 million gallons the first year and 6 million gallons the next.
For whatever reason, LGB has yet to purchase any water from the village, which has left BPA members baffled. BPA member Bill Hoover said he understands some haulers are getting their water from other sources, such as the Ohio River. He even heard some were drawing water from the Little Beaver Creek.
"The (drilling) boom really hasn't started .... I think they thought the boom would be quicker than it has been," Hoover said.
Of the 26 gas wells drilled in the county in the past 18 months, only one is producing.
At one point the BPA became concerned about whether the LGB was in violation of the contract and asked the village solicitor to re-examine the pact, but it appears the contract requires Lisbon to only make the water available exclusively to LGB.
"We looked it over and we don't think they're required to buy water. We hope we're wrong," he said, adding they have tried to contact the company.
Under the agreement, LGB would pay $10 per 1,000 gallons, and the BPA was counting on the $30,000 the agreement would generate the first year to stabilize residential rates or provide them with extra money for future projects.
But two other companies in support of the drilling industry have purchased 1.5 million gallons of water from the village between July and September, according to the BPA. The companies are Iron Mountain of Elkins, W.Va., and Clear Creek, which operates out of the New Waterford area.
This has generated an additional $15,200 in revenue for the BPA.
The village's well field is capable of producing more than 1 million gallons per day, of which 360,000 is needed to supply customers are current usage levels.