ALBANY — A Dougherty County Commissioner asked the members of that body Monday to support a resolution formally opposing the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline that is expected to come through the county.
District 2 Commissioner John Hayes called for a resolution in opposition of the pipeline at the commission’s business meeting Monday morning.
“The folk we’re charged with servicing are asking this commission — they’re asking me — to bring to you a request for a resolution opposing the pipeline,” Hayes told commissioners. “These citizens are fiercely and vehemently opposed to the pipeline, and this battle (to stop it) is a long way from over.”
County Attorney Spencer Lee, in an update on the commission’s response to the so-called Sabal Trail pipeline and Spectra Energy, the company that plans to build the $3.7 billion project, said the latest communication from Spectra indicates the energy company has proposed alternate paths for the pipeline and alternate sites for a compressor station used to force up to a billion cubic feet of natural gas through the pipeline each day.
“This doesn’t mean they’ve given up on the original plan, but there are now alternative routes for the pipeline and alternative sites for the compressor station,” Lee told the board. “Since these alternative sites have been submitted, FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) plans to prepare an additional impact statement based on the alternate pipeline routes and compressor station locations. A comment period (on the new information) will continue through Nov. 14.”
District 1 Commissioner Lamar Hudgins asked if Spectra was seriously considering a route that would keep the proposed pipeline out of Georgia completely. That proposal would take the natural gas from central Alabama south to the Florida Panhandle and from there to its destination in central Florida.
“They’ve said that that route is not feasible,” Lee responded.
“It’s feasible,” Hudgins said, “but it costs more money. That’s what this is about. If we do prepare an ordinance opposing the pipeline, I’d like to advocate that any alternate route considered not go through Georgia.”
Spectra held a public information session at the Hilton Garden Inn Monday evening.
Also at Monday’s commission meeting, the board:
— Approved an $88,439 bid for an HVAC renovation project at the Government Center by Albany Air Conditioning and Heating;
— Reallocated $50,000 in Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax III funding from its tennis center fund to downtown bridges allocations to help with improvements to the East Broad Avenue underpass; and
— Accepted a $50,000 Violence Against Women Act grant of $50,000 that District Attorney Greg Edwards said would be used to deal with domestic violence against women. Edwards said the $16,667 local match required of the grant is handled through in-kind service from his office, meaning no actual funding would come from the county’s general fund.
County EMS Director Greg Rowe introduced Exchange Club Paramedic of the Year Jessica Galvin to the commission, praising her for her work.
“I just go out and do my job,” Galvin told the board.