Pipeline company says rerouting around Gillespie not an option
Kinder Morgan, the pipeline company looking to cross Gillespie County and the Hill Country, will host a public meeting from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.
The open house will have land maps, along with the company’s engineers, construction management team and environmental specialists, according to Kinder Morgan Vice President Allen Fore. The company plans to install a 42-inch, natural gas pipeline 430 miles from the oilfields near Midland across the state to just northwest of Houston (Katy).
“We have made all contacts with landowners who will be affected,” Fore said. “If people have not heard from us, they are not on the proposed route unless some final adjustments will be made to the pipeline route.”
Fore said the company will begin the surveying process once landowner negotiations are done and land acquisition begins.
“The schedule is still on for a fall construction start,” Fore said. He added that presentations to the Fredericksburg City Council and Gillespie County Commissioners would be done in coming weeks.
Fore said reception to the project has been mixed.
“We’ve done this a lot and we get reactions from ‘yes, yes’ from those who want the lease payment, to ‘no,’ to ‘really no’ and everything in between,” he said. “We’ve even had a few who are upset it’s not going onto their property. If there is a viable alternative, we want to know and will consider it.”
But Fore said communication with the company was important. “Let us know your concerns,” he said.
He also said moving the line away from Gillespie County was not an option the company was seeking.
“Rerouting it out of the county is not planned,” he said. “We have spent a lot of time finding a route that will be approved by Texas’ regulatory agencies.”
“But we also recognize the distinction of this area and are committed to doing everything we can to address what matters,” he said.
Fore also said everyone should “recognize that the realities of infrastructure and development are compatible.”
He said 90 percent of the time, the company and landowners come to a mutual agreement.
“People are smart and protective of their interests, as they should be,” he said.