By Keith Regan, Contributing Writer
Northborough–Ten properties in Northborough could be directly impacted by a proposed natural gas pipeline through the area, the Board of Selectmen was told at its Oct. 7 meeting, though the preference of the pipeline developers would be to avoid the community entirely.
Town Administrator John Coderre said department heads met with representatives of Kinder Morgan, the parent company of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline company, which is working to expand its network of pipeline in the region. Some area communities have seen grassroots efforts to stop the project from springing up, but those communities have far more properties that are impacted than in Northborough.
Coderre said the current plan, which takes the pipeline through a small section of the town near Ball Hill, is a preliminary one. He said pipeline officials have reached out to the 10 property owners. Eight have given consent to have their properties surveyed, suggesting they are interested in cooperating with developers, one has not responded and one has declined to work with the company.
Selectman Jeff Amberson noted that there are several properties in the area near Ball Hill, where the town shares a border with Berlin, that are under conservation restrictions. A rough map given to the town by the company makes it difficult to determine which properties will be impacted, however.
“At this point, based on this map, I do have some concerns,” Amberson said.
More specific information could be forthcoming in as little as a month, Coderre said, and more detailed maps and routes will be available once the local permitting process is undertaken.
Since developers will likely already have to permit their project in nearby West Boylston and Berlin, they would prefer to not add Northborough to the list, Coderre said. “One of the things they will be looking at is the environmental impact,” he added.