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Telephone town hall
on proposed pipeline
Landowners who want to learn more about a proposed natural gas liquids pipeline can do so without leaving the confines of their couch.
Officials with the Bluegrass Pipeline, a transmission line transporting natural gas liquids from gas fields in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to the Gulf Coast, is hosting a telephone town hall forum at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Thousands of fliers have been mailed to homes throughout the proposed route, which is expected to cross roughly 13 Kentucky counties, including the extreme southeast corner of Shelby County, said Tom Droege, a spokesman for Williams Co., the pipeline company pursuing the route as a joint venture with Boardwalk Pipeline Partners.
The route is expected to run through northern Kentucky to Breckinridge County, where it would connect to an existing pipeline. Developers say there is a rush of demand for natural gas liquids by the agriculture, petrochemical and plastics industries. It also is used for refining and home heating.
Fiscal courts in several counties, including Shelby, have voted to oppose the pipeline being routed through their areas.
A reminder call will be placed to the homes of those who received mailed invites a few days before the forum, when landowners will be asked if they want to participate. Those who do will receive a follow-up call automatically patching them into a live forum, Droege told The News Enterprise.
“That way we can kind of weed out those” who choose not to participate, he said.
Once a brief informational session wraps, participants will be connected with an operator and can ask questions about the pipeline, Droege said.
Those who miss out on this opportunity will have others, he said, as pipeline developers plan to host more forums in this format. Droege said homeowners are busy and the telephone-based forum will cover a wide swath of residents in an efficient manner.
Landowners who did not receive a flier, he said, can call the Bluegrass Pipeline project information line at 888-336-3252 and ask to be included in the forum. Droege said organizers of the forum will attempt to honor those requests.
Outdoor burning limits in place
The fall wildfire hazard season began Tuesday and continues through Dec. 15. During the period, outdoor burning is prohibited from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in or within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland.
“With the last several weeks of dry weather, conditions are favorable for outdoor fires to escape and become wildfires,” Leah MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry, said in a news release. “Burning under these conditions increases the risk for wildfires when all it takes is a little wind to cause a fire to spread.”
Kentucky residents are reminded to be careful with outdoor fire any time of the year but especially during the wildfire seasons when the risk of a fire escaping is greatest. If a fire does escape, immediately contact the local fire department or Division of Forestry office. An escaped wildfire, even one burning in grass or weeds, is dangerous, the Division of Forestry said.
KDF has responded this year to 739 wildfires that have burned more than 17,000 acres of forests in the state. KDF records indicate that human activity has caused more than 99 percent of wildfires, the bulk of which are preventable.
Residents should call the Division of Air Quality at 1-888-BURN-LAW to learn about other specific regulations before burning anything.
Oldham’s new tax in place
The much discussed La Grange compensation tax went into effect on Tuesday with the hope of pulling the city out of debt. The amount the city will bring in won’t be known until February because the tax will be collected quarterly, city attorney Steve Emery said. The tax is also solely dependent on the businesses keeping track of their employees’ wages.
Ryan Richins, the city’s code enforcement officer, said the businesses will be responsible for garnishing 1 percent of their employees’ wages per paycheck and then keeping track of that amount over the quarter. They will then pay the city one lump sum at the end of every quarter which goes toward paying off the $10 million debt the city has on the Oldham Reserve business park.
Richins sent out letters to the 1,100 business in La Grange registered under the city’s business license tax explaining the compensation tax and the requirements. He said only hourly or salaried employees will be subject to this tax. That means any profits businesses make will not be taxed.
Matthews’ new book arrives
Historic Kentucky Inc. announced that both the soft-cover and hardcover versions of Kentucky’s Historic Postcard Art – Shelby, Henry and Spencer Counties – 1900-2013 have been received and are available for pickup at the office at 412 6th St. in Shelbyville.
Copies are also being shipped to those who ordered that their copy be sent through the mail.
Anderson board continues prayer
Following decisions in recent weeks by Anderson County Schools Superintendent Sheila Mitchell’s to discontinue coach-led prayer and to review the Gideons’ practice of handing out Bibles to elementary students, the school board answers questions about whether it would continue to open its meetings with prayer by doing so at its meeting last week.
The hour of public comments from visitors was punctuated with collective “amens,” standing ovations and quoted Bible verses as several speakers asked the board to encourage public prayer in the Anderson County school system, potential lawsuit or no lawsuit, The Anderson News reported.
Board member Roger McDowell performed the prayer and then told those in attendance, If this offends you, you’re welcome to leave.”
Mitchell encouraged those gathered at the meeting to pick up handouts detailing the state’s legal guidance on the distribution of religious material. She said that if any policies regarding religion were to affect the board, she said she would add the item to the meeting agenda for future public comment.
“I think we can work together to make sure we are successful in what we all want,” she said.
Road work, closings
The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.