Residents, Oil Officials, Commissioners Talk Roads Address Commissioners Court

By Kelly McChesney, Reporter

During the Tuesday, Sept. 23 Houston County Commissioners Court meeting, commissioners, Houston County residents and two EOG Resources, Inc. representatives discussed work being done at Porter Springs in preparation for the well located on the old Potter farm.

Houston County Judge Erin Ford abstained from leading the discussion because he is a landowner on that road. He said participating in the discussion would be a conflict of interest.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Willie Kitchen led the discussion. He cautioned Houston County residents addressing the court, "Let's maintain order. Let's be respectful. You represent Houston County. These people are guests."

"We are here to discuss one item and one issue," Kitchen said.

"Houston County is in dire need of economic development," said Kitchen.

"These people from EOG; from any of these oil companies, are coming into Houston County and they are spending money. These wells are taxed. They're helping to keep your taxes down by increasing our tax base," Kitchen explained.

"EOG has been a very good neighbor," Kitchen said. "Since July 2014, EOG has spent in the neighborhood of $13,000 on county roads in Precincts 2 and 3."

"Before you start your comments, I'd like you to keep these things in mind," he said. "They're bringing money into this county."

Kitchen said, "They are going to do exactly what they say they are going to do.

Resident Perry Corder said there is damage being done to the road. He said there is a crushed culvert and other drainage problems.

"Apparently, EOG pushed a load of rock into a bar ditch to allow their trucks to turn," he said. When it rains, the rock is going to block the drainage and force water across the road. He also said asphalt been damaged.

"They did roll the asphalt down, but the seal has been broken," he said. He is concerned about the dirt portion of the road.

"A half ton truck will put a 14 or 16 inch rut in the road," Corder continued. He wondered what kind of ruts the large EOG trucks will cause when there is a lot of rain.

The Houston County Sheriff's Office was called last week after there were complaints about several EOG trucks blocking the road in front of the Porter Springs Baptist Church. The road is not wide enough for two big trucks to pass.

Resident Steve Fiveash said one concern is speed.

"We've got some elderly people down there. Slow down, or we're going to be dealing with some wrecks," he said. The speed limit on CR 3070 is 35 mph.

Fiveash praised Kitchen for the work his crews have done on the road. "That oil top road makes my property more valuable," Fiveash said. He said he is confident EOG will repair any damage done to the road.

EOG has signed an agreement to repair any damage caused by their traffic on CR 3070.
"I will take all of these concerns back to our office," an EOG Resources, Inc. representative said. "EOG wants to be a good neighbor."