GNADENHUTTEN As a way to generate more revenue for the Indian Valley Local Board of Education, the board approved, in special session Oct. 6, a tentative agreement to allow oil and gas drilling within the district.

The board allowed Chesapeake Energy Corp. to lease 36 acres for oil and gas drilling. A verbal agreement was established for Chesapeake to pay the district about $128,000 in signing bonus funds, plus a share of the royalties of 17-1/2 percent of the gross revenue from a producing well.

It was stressed that no drilling would be done within 500 feet of any structure on district land. The proposed area leased involves a grouping of 100 acres needed for drilling deep wells to reach the Marcellus or Utica Shale deposits. The districts land will be grouped with other property owners.

Prior to bringing it before the board, the agreement was reviewed by Cleveland attorney and Indian Valley graduate David Abbuhl who specializes in contract law, and is experienced in oil and gas leases.

A few changes to the final agreement still need to be made but the board is expected to officially approved the agreement at an upcoming meeting.

The board also approved the purchase of a building adjacent to the board of education and administration offices at a cost of $70,000. The building is owned by John Sindlinger of Newcomerstown. The board of education approved the purchase because the district is reportedly bursting at the seams.

The 2,800-square feet building is attached to the board office and shares a staircase. The downstairs has housed a bank, insurance office and other businesses over the years. The upstairs has been an apartment as recently as last month.

It is expected that less than $10,000 will be needed for renovations.

As far as the closing date for the building, it is not yet known.