by Victor Lopez
ECTOR COUNTY--The drop in oil prices isn't stopping one local company from drilling new wells. In fact they have their eye on some land on the south side of Odessa. But the proposal is getting mixed reactions from city and county officials.
Keystone Petroleum got the green light from Ector County commissioners on Monday, on the location for one of two proposed well sites. But it's the activities that go on in that part of town, that made precinct four commissioner, Armando Rodriguez, the only no vote, "They do a lot of walking. A lot of people use that area as a picnic area. A lot of people do go fishing."
Ector County owns the land around Comanche Trails Park as well as the underground mineral rights. Commissioner Rodriguez isn't sure putting two brand new oil wells there is the right thing to do, "It's a possiblity that anything could happen, any kind of leaks, any kind of noise, the kind of smell for the people who are walking. The thing is we are trying to get people to do some excercises and we are going to start eliminating from doing that sort of excercise."
Rodriguez says, Odessa city councilman Bill Cleaver shares his concerns, "We both live in the same community and we know what our community would like to see in the economic development and the health of our constituents."
The commissioner says many of his constituents have called him with their concerns. But in his mind, this issue is more than just a matter of health and safety, especially with prime plots of land right near by.
"I don't think it would be a very hard decision for some companies to come out and build something when you have oil wells and stuff like that next to it," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez hopes that Keystone will call a public meeting before the proposals are finalized, for reassurance and peace of mind.
"They might do a good job but you never know. We don't want to take a chance on it," Rodriguez said.
Attempts to contact Keystone Petroleum for a comment were not answered.