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Arlington oil well issue further delayed

NATCHEZ — The lingering issue of drilling an oil well at historic Arlington will linger a little longer after Thursday’s planning commission meeting was canceled.

Not enough commissioners could be present to officially call the meeting to order.

The commission was scheduled to hear the application of Mike Biglane of RMB Exploration to drill an oil well on historic Arlington property.

City Planner Frankie Legaux said commissioners Butch Johnson, Cheryl Rhinehart, Key Smith and Linda Futrell were scheduled to be at the meeting. Commissioners Charles Harris, Deborah Martin, Emma Rose Jackson, Jacqulyn Williams and Karen Stubbs were not going to be at the meeting for medical reasons or out-of-town commitments.

The commission must have a quorum — or five of its nine members — present to conduct business.

Legaux said she found out Wednesday evening that the commission would not have a quorum.

Legaux said that she is working with City Attorney Hyde Carby on exploring the option of appointing alternate members to the planning and preservation commissions. The alternate members, Legaux said, could serve on the commission in the event one of the commissioners could not attend a meeting.

“That way we won’t have this problem again,” she said.

Legaux said she believes the commission will take up the Arlington application and any other pending applications at its next meeting on Feb. 21.