By Wendy Mitchell, The Ledger Independent
Officials with Williams Corporation/Bluegrass Pipeline addressed Bracken County Fiscal Court on Wednesday, fielding questions about where, how and when the proposed natural gas liquids pipeline may impact the area.
Bill Lawson, Williams' spokesperson showed magistrates charts and maps of the proposed line and explained that it was in the acquisition phase of the project with landowners across Ohio, Kentucky and part of West Virginia.
“As of October, right of way acquisition program had acquired about 35 percent of the needed rights of way,” Lawson said.
Based on 10-year projections, Lawson estimated the project could generate about $136 million in ad valorem taxes and $30 million-$50 million in payments to property owners for right of way easements, he said.
Crossing Clermont County, Ohio, underground, the pipeline would go under the bed of the Ohio River by directional drilling, Lawson said.
In most cases the 24 inch steel line would be buried at least three feet under the ground, with consideration to farming necessities, and restrictions that trees not be planted and no structures built on the easement property, he said.
There are 184 miles of the line proposed for Kentucky, he said.
Magistrate Clark Hennessey questioned what he called an inundation of informational materials and advertising on behalf of the project.
According to Lawson, the materials were intended to counter misinformation the public may have seen from other sources on everything from what kind of pipe material was to be used and the content of the pipeline.
The court still has to look at paperwork necessary to allow the pipeline to be placed under count roads and on county property, Bracken County Judge-Executive Earl Bush said.
The decision should be made before the end of the year, he said.
According to Lawson, once easements are obtained, the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.
In other business, the court heard about a proposal to have Bracken County included as part of the Port Authority of Cincinnati, as a measure to improve the standing of the port authority in the nation and track cargo movements on the Ohio River.
The measure would not cost Bracken County anything and would not include any regulation of Bracken County activities by the authority, said Melissa Johnson, but could improve the view of the region for outside agencies for community development.
If the plan is approved by all the counties it has asked to be included in Ohio and Kentucky, the Port Authority of Cincinnati would increase from 26 miles to 205 miles and make it one of the top 10 ports in the nation, she said.
No action was taken on the request.