Pipeline compressor station to bring major revenue

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By Carolyn Roy
News Editor

The Parish Council introduced an ordinance at its meeting Monday that could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars for Parish Government and other taxing entities.
Acadian Pipeline Services is building a compressor station according to Project Manager Allison Welch. It will be located west of Melrose Plantation about a quarter mile west of La. Hwy. 1 near Montrose in the southern part of the parish. Welch said the compressor station will improve efficiency and allow more flow in the existing pipeline. It will tie in a suction lateral to the compressor station and discharge lateral back to the pipeline.
The ordinance introduced proposes a zoning change from Industrial Agriculture to Industry 2 for 10 acres. Also introduced was an ordinance of special exception for the purpose of interconnecting pipeline servitude between existing pipeline and proposed compressor station. The ordinances will be voted on at the June meeting.
The company obtained a planning and zoning permit in February that allows preliminary work but can move forward at its own risk with construction until the rezoning is approved.
Compressor stations are an integral part of the natural gas pipeline network that moves natural gas from individual producing well sites to end users according to PennState Extension website. As natural gas moves through a pipeline, distance, friction and elevation differences slow the movement of the gas, and reduce pressure. Compressor stations are placed strategically within the gathering and transportation pipeline network to help maintain the pressure and flow of gas to market.
An example of a similar facility is a gathering station near Robeline that has an assessed value of $5 million. Tax wise, it generates $93.21 for every $1,000 of value. Recently, is generated $549,000 that is distributed to School Board District 9, Fire District 5 and Parish Government including the library, health unit, government buildings and Road District 40. The tax will not be levied until 2023.
Council chairman John Salter and Parish President John Richmond expressed their obvious loathing for each other that erupted in a shouting match. It began when resident Randy Mallard spoke to the council wanting know why other roads took precedence over Shady Grove Road, especially ones that were worked more frequently. Mallard said the road has had no maintenance for over 30 years but other roads, which have had maintenance, still get preference. He said, “I’ll pay for your gas to ride down the road.” Richmond said Shady Grove road did not meet the equation for scoring on a current grants because of such factors as traffic and population. Other roads are considered because they have a better chance of scoring.
Salter said skin-patching would do the road much good but Richmond countered that he did not want to make repairs that would wash away. Salter said he knew more about roads than Richmond would ever know and Richmond said he did didn’t need anyone “shooting darts” all day long when he was trying to help someone.
Salter told Richmond that he had lied and destroyed the road system and Richmond countered that the road system had been gone for 20 years. “If I fix it, I’ll fix it right,” Richmond said. Salter said, “We’ve got 19 months,” referring to the time Richmond has left in office.
In other business, Executive Director of Office of Community Services Sharon Harris said that OCS will not have a summer feeding program for youth because there is no facility in which they can eat. Federal guidelines now require that clients have a place to sit and consume the meals. In the past, the program provided grab-and-go lunches.
Parish Treasurer Julie Lockhart said that Parish Government has been certified with the Dept. of Treasury, a requirement to receive $3.8 million from the American Rescue Plan Stimulus Package. Lockhart said some government entities are using the stimulus money for revenue replacement and it could potentially be used for roads.
Lockhart said she has hired a Lafayette attorney, Jena Wynne, who has appealed a $140,000 IRS claim against Parish Government for failure to submit forms related to health care availability coverage several years ago. The Parish Council authorized Lockhart to hire the attorney at the April meeting.
The council adopted a resolution to approve levying the same tax millage as it did in 2022 except for that in Road District 40 that will be rolled forward to collect additional money.
Another resolution adopted calls for the Parish Council to override a veto used by Parish President John Richmond. At its April meeting, the council adopted an ordinance that removed a section of the personnel manual that deals with whether an employee can record a meeting with a superior without their knowledge. Richmond vetoed it the week following the meeting. Salter hopes the council will override the veto at the June meeting.
Another resolution adopted appoints the Natchitoches Times as the official journal.
The council took action on the following appointments and reappointments:
•Reappointed Dustin Pal Dauzat and Bayli N. Quick to the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau board
•Reappointed Johnny L. Possoit to Fire District 6 board
•Reappointed Winfred Lonadier to the Northwest (Black Lake) Fish and Game Preserve Commission
•Appointed Patrick D. Masson to replace Clyde Masson on Waterworks District 2 Board
•Appointed Rodney Baker, Sammy Leone and Christopher Leone to Fire District 10 Board