COLUMBUS- As the Oil and Gas Industry moves forward with hydraulic fracturing, the need for a water source close to the drilling site becomes a vivid reality. The oil and gas industry will need water from local sources, and “supply and demand” means municipalities will be expected to provide assistance.
Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) believes local communities will have the opportunity to sell water to the oil and gas industry in the near future, noting that some communities could benefit by entering into contracts with the industry for water services. In anticipation of this increased demand, Rep. Cera has introduced HB 134 in an effort to reach out and assist local governments near fracturing sites.
Currently, residents and businesses enter a contract with the local water department for services, and money received by the water department is used for improvements or maintenance to the water system. House Bill 134 would allow a municipality to transfer funds received under such contracts to their general fund. House Bill 134 stipulates that the amount transferred shall not exceed the amount collected under the terms of the contract for the sale of water.
“By allowing revenue from these contracts to be used by the municipality to meet the costs of services usually paid for out the General Revenue Fund, we are able to reinstate some of the services that have been cut,” said Rep. Cera. “This proposal would allow the money to be used for road maintenance and upkeep, as well as police and fire protection. I see this as a ‘win-win’ for all.”
Representative Cera said the bill has been assigned to the State and Local Government in the Ohio House of Representatives and awaits sponsor testimony.