Tennessee Gas Pipeline a “Good Neighbor”? History Says, “No”.
No End to Issues with Lunenburg’s New Gas Pipeline
Sentinel & Enterprise
UPDATED: 10/12/2009 09:29:31 AM EDT0 COMMENTS
Lunenburg town officials are unhappy about several issues that have come up since the completion of a massive gas pipeline replacement project in town.
Problems include complaints from a few residents who say their yards have not been restored to original condition.
“To the extent that we can, we should work on behalf of these people,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Tom Alonzo said during a meeting last week.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. worked throughout the summer to replace a 5-mile stretch of 6-inch diameter pipeline with 12-inch diameter pipeline meet increasing demands for natural gas in Devens.
The project required the company to dig up the old underground line, which crossed through 50 properties and 10 roads in town.
The company agreed to restore all disturbed land on private properties to original conditions, according to Town Manager Kerry Speidel.
“One particular resident is not satisfied with the work done and is pursuing that,” Speidel said. “Another person is concerned about what might happen with her property once the weather changes and there is a freeze. There is a potential issue with their pool.”
Speidel said it’s been difficult communicating with the company since it finished the project and left town. The company is based in Houston.
She also said there is an issue between Tennessee Gas Pipeline and the subcontractor the company hired to perform the work.
The contractor claims they have not been paid in full and has placed a lien on the easements that run through the private homes.
“It’s very curious,” Speidel said. “I’ve contacted town counsel. A lien is usually filed against the person who didn’t pay, but this is filed against the easement that runs across private property.”
It’s very curious, and it’s also very disturbing that once a giant company leaves town it’s hard for officials to get them on the phone, not to mention their alleged problem with paying the private contractor who worked for them.
That problem has caused liens to be placed against private homeowners, according to selectmen, which is totally unacceptable.
Members of the board agreed to work with the residents to help them straighten out any issues with the company.
“It is rather upsetting, and it’s something we’ll get straightened out,” Speidel said.
We urge town officials to do whatever they can to address these issues, including seeking help from either the state attorney general’s office or the U.S. attorney’s office, since the gas pipeline project is located out of state.
And we also encourage them to notify other towns and cities in the commonwealth where the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. might be doing some work in the future, and let them know about the problems they’ve had.
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