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

Drugs and guns seized by Chilliwack Mounties in complex case

Drug trafficking investigations led to five arrests in three different locations across Chilliwack

Chilliwack RCMP trying to catch robbery suspect

Police hope someone will identify the person who appears in security camera footage

Chilliwack churns out new generation of wildfire fighters

School district partners with B.C. Wildfire Service to prep Grade 12s for careers

Bucket-list flight for Chilliwack grandmother

Hampton House resident treated to a beautiful plane ride in Moments that Matter

UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

VIDEO: Giants take a 1-0 playoff series lead

Vancouver beat Seattle 7-1 in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference series in Langley

LETTER:Chilliwack trustee says dress code quotes out of context

Furgason says he wants to hear from parents, not union head

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Six ‘distraction thefts’ in two days spark warning to seniors by Vancouver police

Distraction thefts are used to steal jewelry off the necks of unsuspecting women

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Most Read