February 27, 2015 - 2:27 PM
KAMLOOPS - The Kinder Morgan crude oil pipeline expansion has yet to be approved but it's not stopping the company from signing millions of dollars worth agreements with communities that will be affected by the project.
Kamloops and four parts of the Thompson Nicola Regional District signed agreements with the company Thursday, Feb. 26, joining the likes of Hope, Barriere and several Alberta towns. In total, 11 agreements worth $4.6 million have now been signed with 14 communities along the pipeline route.
According to the company, the agreement of local investments is above and beyond the estimated $52 million annual property tax payments, landowner compensation and economic development opportunities the proposed expansion would bring.
“The funds help compensate for the disruption caused in these communities during the construction phase of the proposed project,” the company says in a media release. “We’re in constant communication with communities affected by the proposed expansion and expect more communities in the near future.”
Kamloops is set to receive $700,000 for a variety of projects while the regional district will get a total of $845,000 for projects in several communities. Clearwater also will receive $390,000 while Merritt is set to get $420,000. Valemount will receive $185,000.
Barriere signed an agreement for $290,000 in November and plans to use the funds for trail upgrades, to build a playground splash pad, plant trees and to support students in trades, technology and environmental programs.
If approved, the expansion will see the capacity of the pipeline system increase to about 890,000 barrels of crude oil per day, nearly triple the current 300,000 barrels. The company hopes to begin construction in 2016 with the pipeline in service by 2018.
The proposed expansion includes about 29 kilometres of pipe within city boundaries, as well as an upgrade to the existing pump station at 2355 Trans Canada Highway in the southwest area of the city. It is expected the expansion will result in 11 road crossings within the city, from the Westsyde area to Airport Road to Highway 1.
The City of Kamloops has previously said if the project is approved it would prefer the Lac du Bois route option over the Westsyde route option.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015