Members of the City Council said that they were unaware of the planned drilling until Monday when a newspaper article mentioning it appeared in the Rome News-Tribune.
“It was the first we had heard of it,” Councilmember Ken Landers said. “I’ve asked the fire department and other city personnel about it and no one seems to know anything.”
Steve Craw and other residents of the small town, known for its fresh-water spring, voiced their concerns about a drilling operation nearby.
Craw referenced the case of crews drilling into the Vann’s Valley Aquifer, which is the source of the spring water that also supplies the drinking water to the town and outlying areas.
“I think our water source is under threat,” Craw told the board during the public comments section of the meeting. “I would hate for this to happen and five years from now our water supply be spoiled.”
“We had no information about this, which concerns me because this is our water,” Councilmember Peggy Allgood said.
Forestar, a Texas real estate, timber, oil and gas company, controls mineral rights for property near Cave Spring and expects to start drilling in the area in May, according to a state permit.
The 14,000-foot well could be used for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of the shale layers underground in order to release natural gas.
According to Forestar’s website, the company owns mineral interests for a large section of private property northwest of Cave Spring.
Craw asked if the City Council could take action soon to address the topic.
“In six weeks it seems that this will be a moot issue,” Craw said. “This should be an urgent thing to look into.”
Landers said that they would get all of the information about the drilling that they could and have city attorney Zach Burkhalter advise any action they could take if they feel it is in the best interest of the town.