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Oil Brings Money to Schools

Pioneer Oil will soon begin drilling for oil on Indiana State University's campus. Vigo County School's administration building's close proximity to the campus entitles the schools to a portion of any profits the oil brings.

Vigo County Schools could soon be earning more money thanks to an unusual source. Pioneer Oil will soon begin drilling on Indiana State University's property, but VCSC's close proximity to the campus will help them reap some benefits, too.

Indiana State previously approved Pioneer Oil to place wellheads on campus to begin drilling for the natural resource. Vigo County Schools administration building is close to the campus. That entitles them to a portion of the profits. Monday night, the school board approved a two year lease with Pioneer Oil to be able to benefit from any oil found.

"At minimum we know it's $1,000 we'll get because that's part of the agreement, but hopefully they'll make a lot of money as well as we will. We won't make a lot actually because it'll be escalating percentage that they hit within the first two years and it continues on," said Superintendent Danny Tanoos.

Indiana State will get 15 percent of the profits from any oil that is found. Then, they'll decide how much goes to surrounding businesses. This unexpected income comes at a time when the cash flow from the government to public schools is dwindling.

"We would use it for many things," said Tanoos. "It depends on the amount. If we get a lot of money, we would hopefully be able to use it to help our employees salary wise and benefits wise."

Superintendent Tanoos says he doesn't expect Pioneer Oil to place any tanks on their property. The company has two years to find oil in Terre Haute. If they don't find it in that time then they have to try else where, but if they do find black gold, the lease is good until the well runs dry.

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