He doesn’t know if other neighbors might be affected.
County Appraiser Cindy Magill said this horizontal drilling may be the first here, but it “certainly won’t be the last.”
She has a pile of new oil and gas lease filing papers for Marion County downloaded from the Kansas Corporation Commission website that can extend from the top of her desk vertically to over head.
Magill said at the county level, although oil companies aren’t required to file ahead like they are with the state, “it could overwhelm us if we aren’t prepared.”
There will be taxation once production begins.
She looks for drilling to have a profound effect on Marion County.
“It could really change the county,” she said.
Magill and county commissioners have discussed possible changes with the growth of horizontal drilling, including more people, more demand for housing and changing taxation.
Officials in several county departments warned that there may even be some error in calling this the first well because there are other indications of activity beginning here and in counties along Marion County’s borders.
Although Jost acknowledges that an oil hit could be good for him, he said he wanted to emphasize his hope for what new oil or gas discovery could do for Marion County and the quality of life here.
He said he would like to see Hillsboro have more growth and for more people to come to live here for the well-being of all.
He said he is “very impressed” with the environmental concern and clean-up discipline the oil driller does on the 6-acre site of the well on his grassland.
Environmental concerns obviously have changed the way oil companies operate, Jost said, and there is little comparison to the old oil boom days when drillers were tearing up the countryside.
He said the oil crew members on site have always been willing to share information and answer questions.
Jost said he believes these attitudes and care will contribute to a high percentage of Marion County landowners being willing to work with drillers.
Initial efforts at the well are already leading him from just being interested to being at least “mildly excited” by the drilling, he said.
Magill said there seems to be growing interest and excitement for everyone in Marion County.