In the tussle for leases on the Fort Worth South Side, Fort Worth Energy/XTO and Chesapeake are both offering to donate up to $75,000 to the Ryan Place, Berkeley Place and Mistletoe Heights associations, based on the number of leases signed.
This largesse, of course, hasn't escaped the notice of other neighborhood associations. The Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations worked it into its extended tip sheet to neighborhood associiatons at this week's gas drilling "education event." "You can negotiate for donations," James Huling, a Mistletoe Heights petroleum engineer, said in his presentation. "Use this as an opportunity to enhance the quality of life in your neighborhood."
This raises the welcome challenge of figuring out what to do with that money if it comes along. The Friends of Tillery Park, a non-profit, built a $175,000 playground on the South Side a week ago, using $50,000 donated by Fort Worth Energy and XTO and another $10,000 from Chesapeake.
Mary Dulle, the Berkeley Place Neighborhood Association president, notes that her association's annual budget is just $5,000-$8,000 annually. Presented with a huge chunk of donated change, she isn't sure what Berkeley would do with it. The "gates" at Forest Park Boulevard and Park Place, a local landmark, need refurbishing. That's one idea.
"I don't know what we're going to do with it, but if we get it, we'll figure out what to do with it," she said.