Ohio Watershed To Rely More On Drilling Revenue

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A half-million landowners in eastern Ohio will pay a few dollars less for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District as it collects more money from gas and oil drillers in the Utica shale.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the district's board has decided assessments for about 500,000 landowners in 18 counties will be cut in half starting next year. Most of those pay $12 annually through county property taxes, generating millions of dollars for dam and reservoir projects.
The board now plans to fund such projects with money it receives from drilling leases and royalties. Lease agreements at four reservoirs have provided $173 million in signing bonuses from drillers for the watershed district.
The board's president says assessments for landowners might eventually be suspended if revenue grows.