BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT - The location of the proposed Heartland Greenway CO2 pipeline has created some concern for the West Point City Council.
Randy Welding, the new City Administrator, told the council Monday night that the pipeline is being proposed to run north and west of the city limits.
Ryan Keller, a representative with CR3 Connect, a lobbying group for the pipeline, was present at the meeting but didn't offer any comments in the public portion of the meeting, when asked by Mayor Paul Walker.
"They're working on the routing around West Point. As it stands now, it's about 1/2 mile to the west and 1/2 mile to the north. There will be other meetings with Lee County," Welding said.
None of the proposed line is within the city limits.
Lee County Supervisor Ron Fedler said at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors' meeting that the city had concerns with the proximity to the pipeline. Fedler is a West Point resident and former mayor.
"Their big concern is that pipeline and how close it's coming to the west and north side of the city," Fedler told the board.
"They want that changed. They don't want it that close to the city because it would really hinder further development that way. Nobody's going to build that close to or over the top of a pipeline."
The pipeline is set to run about 50 miles through Lee County, including connecting with the Iowa Fertilizer Plant. The pipeline would be owned by Navigator CO2.
A meeting is set for June 30th at 11 a.m. in Donnellson at the Pilot Grove Savings Bank to update county officials. The meeting isn't to take public comment, but to discuss operational safeguards with county officials.
Board Chairman Matt Pflug said an Iowa Utilities Board hearing was held Monday but nothing was really covered locally about the pipeline.
County Auditor Denise Fraise said another public meeting is being planned for August.
Fedler said it's his understanding Navigator hasn't applied yet for permits from the IUB.
In an unrelated issue, Larry Bucholz announced that West Point Presbyterian Church has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's the first building in West Point to be listed on the register and the 18th in Lee County.
"About a year ago we started a project to get the West Point Presbyterian Church on the National Register and, at the end of May, we were accepted on to it," Bucholz said.
The church was first built in 1836 and was organized in 1837.
"In 1861, they built the current church at the beginning of the civil war. It was a very good operation and very small. It's unbelievable what you can find when you dig. There was at one time six churches in town and a Presbyterian college," he said.
A celebration is being planned for the fall.
In other action, the city's 4th of July fireworks celebration will be held June 25 in South Park after dark. The park will be open at 5 p.m. with music, kids' games, and fireworks at dusk.
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