LONGMONT, Colo. – The Longmont City Council voted Tuesday to give final approval to a measure that will stop two oil and gas companies from undertaking surface drilling within city limits.
Under the measure, which got preliminary approval from the council earlier this month, the city of Longmont will pay $3 million to TOP Operating Company, which in turn will plug and abandon eight active wells and abandon some of their permitted and future drilling sites.
A second company, Cub Creek Energy LLC, will receive more than 500 acres of the city’s mineral rights in a lease. In all, between the two companies, they are discontinuing the pursuit of about 80 potential well permits.
Council member Joan Peck was the lone vote against the measure.
The measure has become a hot issue since the idea was first proposed publicly several weeks ago as some worried that the city’s economic outlook could be negatively-affected, while others said it was a common-sense decision for the community’s health.
The measure does not prohibit horizontal drilling within the city limits that could be accessed from other counties or land the city owns outside of its official borders.