A full house was present for the Tuesday night City Council meeting. The meeting room was at capacity as numerous community members took to the podium followed by representatives from Sinclair Oil.
Around 10 community members spoke up and voiced concerns regarding health issues, noise, lighting, safety, traffic, privacy and road conditions.
As Linda Fernandez approached the podium she addressed the council with the following question, "What are you going to do to help us? Don't you think you should have notified us to let us know so we could deal with it. Are you going to be there for us and are you going to take care of us."
As the public comment segment concluded, Mayor Shannon Thomason issued the following statement to the community: "I sympathize with every citizen here. We've heard you. We have, and we do take it to heart. Unfortunately as Mr. Atkerson stated our hands are tied with allowing or disallowing drilling within city limits."
Before the public information forum concluded, members from Sinclair Oil came up to speak and address concerns that had been presented by the community.
"We do indeed plan to be a good neighbor and a good operator. We are open to discuss with you your commission with anyone we are a good operator and we are going to be a good friend," Sinclair Oil representative said.
Sinclair Oil had budgeted for six wells in Big Spring. Four wells have been completed and these are the last two to be drilled. Regarding the upcoming project, VP Bob Taylor presented the proposed plan for the site in question.
"I've had rig people put together 40 page procedure on how to handle H2S gas all that has been implemented even though its not needed, but to show we are addressing it. That should assure you that we are trying to take care of that problem," Taylor said.
Projected time frame according to Taylor is around 25 days for the rig being on location, but hoping to cut about a week off with the equipment and procedures in place. At the end of the week the equipment should start coming in and early next week will begin drilling. It looks like early May for this traffic to be leaving. After that part of the process is completed a well head will be capped off. Fracing is projected to take place around July and last through August, taking about 25 days. Both wells will be fraced simultaneously to cut down time and there are hopes they will be able to obtain a stealth fleet which will make less noise.
"We try to work at a very high standard," Taylor said. "During the completion phase, which will be the most annoying, the walls will go back up, even higher." Our goal is to minimize the impact on you. We will get in drill and get out, get in and complete and get out ... The city is working with us, they are stern and we will do our best to work with them."
The City Council approved several other items on the agenda, including a loan and project for access roads for the Reliever Route, vouchers, and other routine agenda items.
Mayor Thomason also reminded the council and community about the next large item pick up, which is set for March 18 and will take place in District 3. Toasty Tuesday has also kicked off and the community is encouraged to attend every Tuesday evening from 5:30-6:30 p.m. To find out locations, visit the Keep Big Spring Beautiful Facebook page or pick up a Monday edition of the Big Spring Herald each week.