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Falls City anxious over pipeline
Wilson County NewsFebruary 19, 2014 | 3,686 views | 5 comments
FALLS CITY -- Elected officials here are hoping that City Attorney Acie McAda and attorneys for San Antonio-based Texstar Midstream Logistics LP can come to an agreement over a pipeline easement that could extend into the city’s baseball field. The issue was discussed during the Feb. 12 meeting of the Falls City City Council.
McAda said the stretch of pipeline -- which was installed in 1939 -- is long dormant. It is part of a 130-mile-long pipeline that Texstar is working to refurbish so that it can begin carrying liquefied petroleum gas by March 1.
The concern is whether proposed work within the pipeline’s 50-foot easement will adversely impact usage of the field, as baseball season is fast approaching.
“The baseball field is for public use,” McAda said. “Then it becomes a question of competing public interests.”
Mayor Brent Houdmann said that company representatives told him that the baseball field would not be affected.
“I feel like they’re telling us whatever it takes to get the contract signed,” he said.
Councilman Jeff Johnson said, “The route they’ve got chosen is going to make a mess.”
McAda also is working with the city on its continued efforts to replace its approximately 290 water meters. Public Works Supervisor Jeremy Mandel suggested that the city might save money if it were to purchase and subsequently install the proposed radio-read meters. Meanwhile, negotiations between Falls City and Ferguson Waterworks Meter and Automation Group continue.
In other business, the council voted to order an election for May 10. Voters will cast ballots for the mayor and three at-large councilmen. Currently holding those seats are Mayor Brent Houdmann and councilmen Steve Swierc, Andrew Wiatrek, and Jeff Johnson. The council likely will appoint someone to fill a fourth seat left vacant since April 2013 when former Councilman Clarence Crawford resigned.
In attendance: Mayor Brent Houdmann and councilmen Jeff Johnson, Andrew Wiatrek, and Steve Swierc; City Secretary Lauren Sturm, Public Works Supervisor Jeremy Mandel, and City Attorney Acie McAda.
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