About Brian Brock
Posts by Brian Brock:
“The camel’s nose is a metaphor for a situation where the permitting of a small, seemingly innocuous act will open the door for larger, clearly undesirable actions.” (Wikipedia) In the fable, a camel seeks shelter from a raging storm in the tent of its owner. Initially he permits the camel to stick only its nose inside, but bit by bit it comes to occupy the whole tent, with the owner pushed out into the weather.
Back in 2012, a partnership led by Williams Partners L.P. of Tulsa planned to profit from ramming the Constitution pipeline down the length of Franklin. Only two years later, a Houston company, Kinder Morgan, wanted to cash-in similarly with the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline, only fifty feet from the first. This one would come with a compressor station. Revisions of the second company’s plan added a chemical facility to a much expanded complex. Even more was proposed with the addition of a huge power generating plant, possibly next to the Marcy South high-voltage line. Continue reading…
With all the coverage of national candidates, you might think that we will be voting for President of the United States this November. However 2015 is an off-year election with only local races for towns and counties. Last year’s atypical local elections were required by the resignation of two councilmen.
This year most of the Town of Franklin officials are up for election: supervisor, two of the councilmen, clerk, and highway superintendent. [Editor’s note: Candidates Forum, October 19, 2015, at the American Legion.]
The Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC (TGP) plans to build in Franklin the mid-stream compressor and office buildings for the supply path segment of the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline. For this facility, they have taken an option to purchase a hundred seventeen acres from the Haneys. This land is mostly north of (uphill of) the proposed route of the pipeline and east of Otego Road. It is two miles above the Village of Franklin and one mile above Village of Otego.
The compressor building would occupy a ten acre site close to the pipeline, which is near the southern boundary of this property. Access to the site would be from the existing road to the unfinished tower at the northern boundary. Plot plans are expected with the revised Resource Reports in July. In the building, a C85 compressor would be powered by a single 30,000 hp gas turbine, similar to a jet engine. This model Titan 250 is the largest made by Solar Turbines Inc. Every minute it will push a half million standard cubic feet of natural gas through a pipe thirty inches in diameter. Continue reading…
The several parts of our local government each have their own powers and responsibilities. The Board of Education teaches our children. The Fire Department and EMS aid us in emergencies. The Highway Supervisor maintains and improves the roads. The Town Justice judges the accused. The Town Clerk keeps records, collects taxes, and issues licenses. Continue reading…
Franklin residents may have not imagined that a finished Constitution pipeline would be much of a problem – unless they are landowners along the route. It would be just a hundred foot wide clear-cut stretching ten miles across Franklin from Route 357 west of the East Sidney Dam to Route 28 up on Franklin Mountain.
After repeated requests by the Franklin Town Board, Leatherstocking came to the May meeting to brief them on a possible natural gas distribution line to run from the proposed Constitution Pipeline through Franklin to industry in Fraser, Town of Delhi. (Both Morningstar Foods LLC and Clark Inc. could be large consumers of gas.) Probably this pipe would be low pressure ten-inch high density polyethylene, but medium pressure four-inch steel is an option. Either would be buried three to five feet deep.
Leatherstocking Gas Company LLC is a joint venture between Corning Natural Gas Corporation and Mirabito Holdings. It has started constructing distribution systems in the townships of Bridgewater and Montrose, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.
Mike German, president of Leatherstocking, showed two speculative routes. One would run 20.4 miles down County Highway 28 and State Highway 10 through North Franklin, Meridale, Meredith, and Delhi. The other would run 19.6 miles down Chamberlin Hill Road, State Highway 357, County Highway 14, and County Highway 16 through Leonta, Treadwell, and West Delhi. The latter is considerably different from the one shown last year to the councilmen of the towns of Delhi and Meredith, and to the trustees of the village of Delhi. That would have run down Otego Road to State Highway 357. Unlike the old, this new version does not go through the village of Franklin, and therefore to supply gas to the village a spur would have to be built from Leonta, a distance of 2.5 miles.
Leatherstocking does not have the power of eminent domain and would have to negotiate for all easements. It could gain that power by becoming a utility.
At the tap into the Constitution Pipeline (i.e. the station gate), there would be built a twelve foot by twelve foot utility building containing equipment to meter, reduce pressure, and odorize the gas. This distribution system would not require a compressor.
This distribution line is contingent on the construction of the Constitution Pipeline. Even if that is completed by March 2016, construction of this line would not begin until 2017 or 2018. Prior to the Franklin/Delhi line, Leatherstocking is planning to build distribution lines from Millennium Pipeline to Windsor and then from Constitution Pipeline to Sidney. Other possible service areas are Bainbridge and Unadilla.
The federal government requires that Delaware County replace its emergency communication system, having sold the frequencies on which it operates. The existing system was built in the 1970s and replacement parts are no longer manufactured. Also, it reaches mobile units in only 65% of the county, whereas the new system should reach 95%. Costs are estimated at $5 to 10 million, of which $5.3 million has been covered by grants to date.
The required new communication towers are to be located near the existing ones, of which there are twelve. Phase I includes replacement of the four towers in primary locations such as on top of Franklin’s Johnson Mountain, just south of Heathen Hill. Other primary locations are Houck Mtn., Walton; Mt. Pisgah, Andes; and Mt. Utsayantha, Stamford. The existing facility must be kept operational until the new system is completed, and the new tower also requires an equipment shack.
On Johnson Mtn., the county had planned to put the new tower and its shack next to the old one, but the land owner, Mr. Leva, complained that it would take up more of his limited road frontage. He suggested a property across Ed Klug Road, owned by his mother. According to Supervisor Taggart, an agreement was reached with the Leva family to locate the new tower on a half acre of Maria Leva’s parcel, across from the existing tower. But since late last year, he said, the owners have been involved in a family squabble, and have not responded to numerous attempts to finalize the easement.
It is unclear why only a Leva family property is suitable. While they own four parcels that are above 2,000’ along Ed Kung Road, Scott Taggart owns others nearby. The Leva family are nonresidents, whereas Mr. Taggart lives in Franklin.
With construction now on hold, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at their April 9th meeting to begin eminent domain proceedings (Resolution 78). But apparently there were problems with the wording. So, in their meeting of May 25th, they rescinded that resolution and voted for the similar Resolution 114.
Seven of the twelve towers are planned for completion this year, and completion of the system is scheduled for mid-2016.