A map from Trans Mountain Pipeline shows the proximity of the current pipeline to Vedder middle and Watson elementary. The pipeline cuts through a portion of Vedder’s field, while Watson is about a block away. Trans Mountain Pipeline image

Chilliwack school board leaves pipeline offer dangling

Trustees not comfortable with accepting money for twinning project that cuts through school grounds

A $36,000 agreement bonus from Trans Mountain was left dangling by the Chilliwack school board Tuesday night, after they voted to take no action on the offer for now.

The district is involved with talks about twinning the pipeline, because the route already travels through Vedder middle school fields, and adjacent to Watson elementary. This is the second time money has been offered to the district in advance of the approval of the twinning project.

In 2015, the offer came from former pipeline owner Kinder Morgan and they turned it down outright, with only two trustees voting in favour of taking cash. Those two trustees were Heather Maahs and Silvia Dyck. Kinder Morgan’s offer then was to give the school district $30,910 in compensation if the pipeline expansion is completed. That would be in addition to money that the district is entitled to for compensation.

RELATED STORY: Chilliwack school board says no to Kinder Morgan

This time, only one trustee present was eager to take the TMP cash incentive, Trustee Darrell Furgason.

“I don’t fear pipelines,” he said, calling worries about the project “a bit of hysteria.”

He said the money would cover the cost of one new portable.

Trustees were presented with four options from senior staff, including refusing the offer, negotiating a better offer, requesting arbitration, or doing nothing for now. Trustee Willow Reichelt made a motion for the option to “do nothing.”

“If I have any chance to … reroute it, I will take it,” she said. Trustees Dan Coulter, David Swankey and Jared Mumford voted in favour of that motion. Trustees Maahs and Barry Neufeld were absent, but voted for and against accepting the cash previously, respectively.

Coulter added that organizations who have accepted these cash deals to date have been used as “political cover,” equalling the acceptance of payment as approval of the project. He also voted against taking the money last time it was offered.

The pipeline currently has an 18-metre easement, but the proposed expansion project would require a 42-metre easement. Under the National Energy Board Act, the district is already entitled to compensation for this right of way, as well as for any impact on the use of the land.

Under their proposed offer, the district would receive $136,350 ($59,400 for Vedder & $76,950 for Watson) in compensation if the pipeline expansion goes ahead. Upon signing of the agreements, the district would also receive a payment of $4,000 to cover costs and an agreement bonus of $29,525.


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack’s pediatric observation unit gets financial shot from trades workers

Unions and contractors donate more than $30,000 to Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Delays en route for Highway 7 in Harrison Mills

Road resurfacing will cause month-long delays for drivers travelling through Harrison Mills

The luckiest man in Agassiz finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Missing woman last seen downtown Chilliwack in late April

Family concerned for Rebecca Lynne Sackley’s well-being

Chilliwack prolific offender arrested after four months on the lam

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan in January

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Metro Vancouver mayors ask public to lobby feds for annual $375M transit fund

Mayors renewing their call for transit funding as federal election looms

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

BC Ferries asks boaters to learn signals and be careful around vessels

BC Ferries responded to 15 marine emergencies in 2018

VIDEO: Suspected arson sends five to Abbotsford hospital with smoke inhalation

Man seen throwing flammable substance in van, lighting it on fire next to home

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Mother bear, three cubs relocated from Maple Ridge

Silver Valley residents calling for ‘no-kill’ zone.

VIDEO: TransLink to roll out battery-powered bus pilot this summer

Four buses will run a 2.5 year pilot along Marine Drive

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Most Read