Forward Township to determine if roads can handle drilling project

  By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News StafWriter

  With a West Virginia company interested in drilling for natural gas in the municipality, Forward Township has approved plans for a $15,000 study to determine if local roads are up to such a project. Supervisors say the township ’s engineering firm HRG Engineering should be able to study 15 to 20 local roads as part of the project approved Thursday.
  The action comes in response to a drilling project in the area of Elkhorn Road proposed by Mountain V Oil Gas Inc., of Bridgeport, W.Va., earlier this year. Supervisor Tom Headley said the township is concerned that transportation of the equipment used in the drilling project will destroy local roads. Through the study, he said, the township will likely be able to establish weight limits


on local roads. “Some pieces of equipment are 120 tons,” he said. “We can have thousands of truckloads at very high weights traveling across the roads.” Even with an ordinance putting weight restrictions on roads, the drilling company will be able to use them but, in order to do so, Headley said, the company will have to post a bond of $6,000 per mile for unpaved roads and $12,000 per mile for paved roads. “It’s not adequate” to cover the cost of restoring an asphalt road, Headley said of the bond amount, noting that actual restoration costs can run about $100,000 per mile, but he said the action will help hold drill ers liable for roads that
 may be destroyed during the project. Headley said the state has most control over gas and oil projects; creating a weight restriction ordinance is one of the few ways municipalities can locally regulate such projects. In other business, supervisors approved the purchase of a new Ford Crown Victoria police car to replace a like-model police car with 172,000 miles. The cost of the new car is $23,115. The township put a $15,000 state Department of Community and Economic
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 Development grant toward its purchase and wilpay the balance out of local funds.
  The police department has a total of two marked cars, one unmarked car and one four-wheel drive vehicle. The new car will be a marked vehicle. The retired vehicle will be sold.

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