Meeting about proposed oil wells near cemetery cancelled

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NATCHEZ — A meeting planned for Tuesday to discuss an oil-drilling prospect on land near Cemetery Road was cancelled when the oil company apparently decided to change its course.

City Planner Bob Nix said he was told the company, DRAYCO, will submit a new set of plans, which might include relocation of the site or access to it.

Rex Kern, director of the Natchez National Cemetery said representatives from the National Cemetery Administration flew to Natchez from Washington, D.C., and Atlanta to attend a Natchez Preservation Commission meeting last Wednesday concerning the matter.

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Kern said last week one of his main concerns is how the landscape of the cemetery will be impacted.

Kern said Marty Seibert, chairman of the Natchez Preservation Commission, said residents in the neighborhood are concerned about constant oil truck traffic and the vibrations from the well drilling.

Nix said the company may consider moving back the access route to the proposed drill site, but the company still planned to drill on the same land.

“I have not seen the final outcome (of the updated plans),” Nix said.

“(DRAYCO’s) intent is to come back at the next regular set of meetings for planning, preservation and for the board of aldermen,” Nix said.

The company tentatively plans to present updated plans for the prospective drilling operation Oct. 12 at the Natchez Preservation meeting, Oct. 20 at the Natchez Planning Commission and Oct. 25 at the Natchez Board of Aldermen meeting, Nix said.