The few holdouts in Fairmount (FW) Southside Historic District are about to get rewarded, if they're not holding out on principle.
The neighborhood is getting the word out to what it estimates to be the "100-plus" property owners out of 1,300 who haven't signed leases yet. The association doesn't have an iron-clad hold on who's signed; it put out signs asking the holdouts to respond, and more than 100 did.
The Fort Worth Energy/XTO offer, supported by the neighborhood association as "less disruptive and more financially rewarding:" $15,000-per-acre signing bonus, with lot calculations to the middle of streets and alleys; 25 percent royalty minus taxes, but with no reduction for production, gathering, transportation, processing or marketing costs; 48-month term; and a $10,000 donation to the neighborhood association for every 100 leases signed.
The environmental considerations were even more important to the neighborhood, said Patti Randle, the association's president. They include: no surface access operations, drill site at Jennings and Page, language that matches the city of Fort Worth's 600-foot minimum distance between the drill site and the nearest homes, no compressor within 1,000 feet of the Fairmount boundary, and no truck traffic within Fairmount.
"Our No. 1 issue was to have safety in the neighborhood," Randle said. XTO and Fort Worth Energy "were just really accomodating with all of it."
Like their South Side neighbors in Ryan Place, Berkeley Place, and Mistletoe Heights, which negotiated similiar agreements with Fort Worth Energy/XTO, the Fairmount association did not want a potential drill site on 8th Avenue, which Chesapeake proposes.
Fairmount was unlike those three associations in that a large number of its property owners -- led by the high numbers of landlords in the neighborhood -- signed leases before the association was able to organize.
XTO's proposed bonus stood at $10,000 as recently as October, but the company raised that to $15,000 within the last few weeks, Randle said.
David Thrapp, head of Fairmount's gas committee, said a joint South Side committee that negotiated a template agreement with Fort Worth Energy/XTO was a huge help.
"I hope we protected Fairmount," he said. "That was the whole purpose."
(S-T photos: Fairmount home, playing in the rain at Fairmount Park)