Lebanon board to consider gas pipeline road bore request

Lebanon town officials will consider a request by Nornew Inc. for multiple road bores under town roads as part of plans to install a new 12-inch natural gas pipeline in the township at the regular town board meeting on Monday, Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Valley Community Center on River Road in Randallsville.

The public is invited to attend.

The proposed plan by Nornew involves road bores for sections of Lebanon Hill, Lebanon Center, Soule and Geer roads in the township. Under policies established by the town last year, the Lebanon Town Board makes the final decision after consulting with the town highway superintendent and town attorney on a road bore request, in keeping with town law.

The town board has approved prior road bore requests for portions of Deep Spring and Reynolds Hill roads that involved connecting new gas wells, but this latest request involves installation of a new 12-inch pipeline that is intended to connect newer gas wells recently drilled in the township to the existing well and pipeline system that runs to a compressor station in Eaton.

Nornew is estimated to have generated about $2.8 million in wholesale gas production sales in 2007, according to projections based on production totals provided to the town by a local geology professor, and town officials report that the town received about $10,300 in 2008 taxes based on 2006 production totals in town property taxes under the current state system that was established in the 1970s.

Town officials have voted unanimously the last four years to request that the state Legislature pass legislation allowing local municipalities the authority to establish a fuel production tax on natural gas more in line with current franchise agreements that are now required for cable operators.

Town officials estimate that a 5-percent tax on production this past year, even exempting all royalties paid, could have netted the town's taxpayers about $120,000 minimum and could have cut property taxes in the township by a third or more.

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