Thursday, October 19, 2006
Pipeline crossing portion of county
By SUE WATSON
A new natural gas pipeline to be built by Centerpoint Energy will cut across the northern part of Marshall County, according to Bill Renick with the county Industrial Development Authority.
He said the 32-inch pipeline that will bring gas from Bald Knob, Ark., across Mississippi and into Alabama, is a $250 million project and will bring in new taxes for the county.
Supervisor Keith Taylor explained the county has nothing to do with the pipeline construction.
“One group said the county sent them out to do it (survey and secure easements),” Taylor said. “I don’t want them (Doyle Land Company which is securing easements) to portray we are doing it.
“I don’t want to promote it. When you get a pipeline (on a property) you can’t build on it. You can’t do anything.”
Renick said it is a matter of the county being in the path of the pipeline’s intended trajectory.
“A pipeline is heavily taxed and would bring in new revenue,” he said.
Renick advised supervisors of a 15-year plan for the airport that is underway and invited them to the airport commission meeting where it would be discussed.
A residential airpark near the airport to be available for private pilots who like the convenience of living near airports is being considered, he said.
Corporate pilots like to be able to leave their back door and travel straight to their planes, he said. If the airpark is constructed, pilots would be able to travel in golf carts to a cart hanger and then go to their planes. Renick said a golf cart hanger would bring in revenue to the airport.
Other airport changes that would attract new business down the road include the lengthening and widening of the runway and building a hanger, he said.
Renick predicted the completion of the Highway 4 bypass to the West Holly Springs Exit would produce another construction boom with commercial and industrial companies wanting to locate there.
An 82-acre tract of land near the BNSF railroad in northern Holly Springs could get the ball rolling for state support for paving the bypass, he said.
Supervisor Keith Taylor and Ronnie Bennett discussed long waits for trains to clear the crossings at Byhalia and Potts Camp and asked about the possibility of an overpass.
“You can come in every morning and afternoon and be stopped there (in Byhalia) 30 or 40 minutes,” Taylor said.
Bennett said lots of people living across the tracks in Potts Camp have to wait for trains to get off the tracks.
Renick said a long-term conceptual plan can be drawn up to address the need of overpasses at both towns.
“You would have to wait,” he said. “We could start looking into it.”
“I would hate to see anybody’s folks get held up on an ambulance or fire call,” Bennett said.
“Maybe we can work on it with the state legislature,” Renick said. “Byhalia had to build a fire station across the track to protect the school.”
Bennett marveled at how the pace has picked up the last two or three decades.
“Twenty years ago we had no problem with trains,” he said. “Now you have coal trains and everything.”
Sheriff Dickerson cited the Mississippi Code which states a train can block the tracks no longer than five minutes.
“There is no reason to block that track thirty minutes to an hour,” he said. “They can uncouple that train.”
“Can you give a ticket for blocking a track over five minutes?” Bennett asked.
The sheriff replied that an engineer who makes $150,000 a year will not worry a bit about a little ticket.
“They are having some problems all down the railroad track. Tupelo is trying to redirect rail out of the city,” Renick said.
“A bypass would be great for Byhalia,” Taylor said. “I know it would cost a lot for an overpass. We just need a way for trains to get over us or for us to get over the train.”
“You are only talking about $3 million to solve the problem,” said Larry Hall, county administrator/road manager.
“This is the kind of thing where we can work on the plan,” said Renick. “You’ve got to start with Mississippi Department of Transportation. The commissioner happens to be a hometown boy. We’ll start on what it would take to do it in both places.”
In other business, the board:
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