Selectmen To Tennessee Gas: Stay Away From Our Residents
Jul 01, 2014 12:02PM
● By Bill Gilman
Officials from Kinder-Morgan listen to the concerns of residents related to a proposed gas pipeline.
When representatives from Kinder-Morgan met with residents and town officials on June 24 to discuss the possibility of Tennessee Gas running a pipeline through a section of North Tewksbury, the Selectmen said they didn't have enough information to take a position.
Having now seen to the presentation and having heard questions answered by Kinder Morgan officials, the Selectmen now feel comfortable taking a position -- No Sale.
In a press release issued Monday by Town Manager Richard Montuori, the board said it was, "concerned about the impact this project will have and is committed to ensuring the Community is protected as this process unfolds."
With that in mind, the board voted on June 28 to seek an opinion from Town Counsel Charles Zaroulis regarding seeking a "Cease and Desist" order that would bar representatives from Tennessee Gas and/or Kinder-Morgan from having any contact with residents who might be impacted by the project and requiring all communications from the company to be done directly with town officials.
Tennessee Gas representatives have been reaching out to around 60 residents of North Tewksbury since February, asking for permission to come onto their property to do surveying work related to the potential pipeline expansion project. At the June 24 meeting, company officials said preliminary plans for the pipeline call for it to pass through about 1.3 miles of land in Tewksbury.
At the meeting, residents voiced concerns about environmental impact, adverse impact on property and property values and public safety.
The Board of Selectmen stated on June 24 and reiterated in the press release that additional public meetings between town officials, residents and company officials were needed.
According to the release, the board also voted, at the same June 28 meeting, to join the Middlesex County Coalition of Municipalities, made up of cities and towns throughout the region impacted by the project.
"The board believes that by joining the Coalition it will allow the town to be in the best position to receive the most up to date information about the project and to better represent the interests of Tewksbury residents as this proposal continues to be developed," read the release.
Kinder-Morgan officials said the overall process will continue to move forward.
"We look forward to continuing to work with the Board of Selectmen and the citizens of Tewksbury," said Roger Wheatley, director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for Kinder-Morgan.