Middleburgh opposes Constitution route


By David Avitabile

Middleburgh town board members have officially made their position known on the proposed natural gas line route.
Board members earlier this month agreed to send a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission supporting putting the proposed gas line on the easement by I-88 instead of through the Schoharie Valley or other route.
Representatives for Constitution Gas, who have proposed the 30-inch, 31.6-mile long pipeline through the county, have said that while the route has been proposed, it has not yet been finalized.
Company officials said last month in Schoharie that a proposal to have the line run along the right-of-way of I-88 is being studied by FERC and the state Department of Transportation.
Farmers and local, state officials are pushing for Constitution to put the proposed line along I-88.
This will be the second letter that the Middleburgh town board will be sending to FERC.
Town board members in May officially came out against an alternate route which would have put the proposed line through the Valley.
That alternate had a line heading toward Middleburgh north from Blenheim and Breakabeen on the west side of the creek. The line follows the agricultural floodplain.
Several farmers told the town board that they were against that proposed route.
An informational open house will be held at the Best Western in Cobleskill on Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30pm to review the proposed routes and other information about the proposed pipeline.
FERC will be holding a "scoping session" next month to listen to residents about the proposed line.
FERC has to approve the line before construction can began.
If the line is approved in November 2013, company officials said tree clearing could begin in January 2014 and the construction of the actual line would start in April 2014. The line could go into operation in March 2015.