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

Chilliwack Chiefs blow out Prince George Spruce Kings in home opener

Ethan Bowen scored three goals as the Chiefs dumped their Mainland division rivals 6-2.

Missing Chilliwack 17-year-old last seen on August 20

RCMP asking public for help to find Lorenz Pentz

Blowback from the Trudeau in brownface debacle reaches Chilliwack

PM in questionable photos released in the middle of the federal election campaign had ripple effects

Prospera and Westminster credit unions approved for proposed merger

Abbotsford- and Surrey-based companies now take matter to membership vote

Gill Road bar in Chilliwack being eyed for gating and campsite

People love Gill for fishing and four-by-fouring but desecration by trash dumpers is continuous

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Student arrested at South Delta Secondary for alleged assault

The alleged assault occurred between two SDSS students on Wednesday, Sept. 18

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Most Read