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Guthrie City Council approves controversial oil and gas well

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GUTHRIE, Okla. -- The Guthrie City Council unanimously approved a permit for a controversial oil and gas well Tuesday night.

Concerned residents have been waiting for a decision for about a month now.

The first time the item was on the agenda, not enough council members showed up to vote.

The second time, it was tabled.

After Tuesday's vote in favor of the well, residents walked out of the meeting upset.

"I'm not surprised. I'm devastated in disappointment," Lynn Colorio said.

"I'll save anger for something that is more significant in my life. I'm too old to be angry about anything. I'm disappointed," Patricia Bowman said.

The 90 foot well is set to be built near Mineral Wells Park.

Residents have more than one reason they do not want it there.

"From my understanding, it's in a floodplain. Are we not paying attention to the possible contamination that could occur?" Zach Colorio asked.

"Oh they tear up everything. The trucks. The big heavy trucks. They just tear up and down the roads," Lynn said.

The city says the well is expected to use up to 25,000 gallons of water a day. That water will be coming from the city.

"We've had rain now, but we've had drought. To take the water from the public water supply when we've been precariously close to rationing," Bowman said.

The city says there are already 16 oil wells in Guthrie.

City council members do not believe the new one will hurt the quality of life, but several residents stand by their beliefs.

"A very small group of people have made a decision that a lot of people are going to have to live with, and when we have a town that is important historically and so beautiful. Why aren't they doing things to glorify it rather than exploit it?" Lynn asked.

The city says if the oil company damages the roads it will be responsible for repairs.

As for flooding concerns, the company plans to elevate the site and has to get approval from FEMA before building.

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