GARDENDALE -- Mark your calender's. May 14th is the day Gardendale gets to vote to establish a local government that would allow them to pass laws regulating oil drilling in their neighborhoods.
There is a general consensus regarding oil drilling among people who live in Gardendale.
"The oil business is inherently dangerous," said Gardendale Landowners Association Member Dan Boggs. "They all know that. Everybody who works in it knows that it is a very bad idea to drill inhabited areas and place all the support equipment there."
New technology allows oil companies to recover oil from areas that were once considered less then ideal. And because Gardendale is an unincorporated part of Ector County, they don't have much say in what the oil companies can do.
That all might change soon.
Gardendale may potentially be West Texas's newest city if enough residents vote for it in May's elections. This would enable Gardendale to adopt ordinances regulating oil drilling.
"The ordinances that we are going to adopt," said Boggs, "are ordinances that have been used in other cities throughout the state of Texas and have been tested in the courts."
Dr. Don Apodaca has already had his property staked 6 times. He's concerned that if they drill near or on his land, toxins may pollute the air and his water.
"If they contaminate it, obviously we wouldn't be able to use it for ourselves or for our livestock. Maybe not even for irrigation purposes."
Some residents are not in favor of incorporation because they don't want the new taxes a local government would bring.
But for everyone involved, May can't come soon enough.