The North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation had plans to build 66 new homes. But now, it has whittled to 56. At least five households were expected to move in by the end of this year. The city of Lubbock pulled its funding of the project because of mineral rights issues.
"If you go out there, you'll see dirt has been turned, streets have been staked off, pipes are laying around, and Caterpillars are out there to get these homes started," said Floyd Price, Lubbock City Councilman. He says he is frustrated about the stalling of the north east development.
It has something to do with the 60 mineral right owners who own the oil underneath. "At that time we were aware there was one oil well that had an operator," said John Hall, CDC Director.
Hall says they acquired the land and thought mineral right owners and operators agreed to using the land for new homes. However, just recently, Hall says the owners and operators wanted the CDC to revise their plans for more wells. "We would lose 6-8 houses by doing so. But in the spirit of yielding the output by the community, we agreed to revise our site plan," said Hall.
Hall created a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that he wants signed by the mineral right owners and operators. It essentially says they agree not to ask to put more wells on the land.
"It gives us comfort to know we can proceed with our project without any more interruptions on the site plan," said Hall.
Councilman Price wants that comfort too. "I want to see schools re-open. If we get those rooftops there those schools will open up," he said.
Halls says he is expecting the owners and operators to sign the MOU and get it back to him soon. Until then, Halls says the construction of the homes have been delayed about 90 days.