Davidson’s Town Board has a pair of meetings this week – its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night and a quarterly retreat Thursday and Friday in Asheville. Tuesday’s meeting will include a discussion and possible vote on Piedmont Natural Gas’s request for a gas line easement through Fisher Farm, of Shearer’s Road in northeast Davidson.
Commissioners Tuesday also will continue discussion of a 5-year capital improvement plan for town. The meeting is Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Davidson Town Hall, 216 S. Main St., Davidson. See the agenda and related documents on the town website.
GAS LINE EASEMENT
Piedmont Natural Gas is in the midst of planning a 127-mile pipeline to supply natural gas to Duke/Progress Energy’s Sutton power plant in Wilmington. PNG says the plant is replacing three coal-burning units with natural-gas-fired units, a move it says will reduce air pollutants.
The route cuts through northwest to southeast through the northern part of Davidson. That includes a section running along the west branch of the East Rocky River. The company’s initial proposed route took the pipeline through private property on the west side of the creek. But Davidson town officials say they had met with PNG to encourage a route that matched up with other rights-of-way through the area, including for sewer line extensions and a possible greenway. According to a note on the town website:
The idea was to save one side of the West branch of the Rocky River in its natural state. Since the gas line route and the proposed Greenway at Fisher farm follows the West branch of the East Rocky River we suggested PNG use the Fisher farm side of the West branch for the gas line. PNG was concerned about a stream restoration easement on a branch stream off of the West branch that runs up into Fisher Farm. The major concern was getting an easement across the state agency easement for the stream restoration project. After many months we were able to get the state agency and PNG to agree. PNG is now seeking an easement on the Fisher Farm side of the West branch of East Rocky River. Mecklenburg County, [which also] holds a conservation easement on the Fisher Farm, is in agreement with this plan.
Under terms of the agreement to be discussed Tuesday, the town of Davidson would sell PNG an easement totaling 4.85 acres, at a price of $15,345 per acre, or $74,500 total. The price is equal to the value in a recent appraisal, according to the town.
The town said it’s not sure when the work would begin. The pipeline would not be visible once the work is done.
PNG also recently agreed to realign the route to limit environmental damage where it passes through Davidson College’s ecological preserve.
July 31, 2012, “College, Piedmont Natural Gas agree on new pipeline route.”
Feb. 16, 2012, “Plans for natural gas pipeline through town spark concerns”
TOWN BOARD RETREATING TO ASHEVILLE
The Town Board will travel to Asheville Thursday and Friday, Sept. 13 and 14, for a quarterly planning retreat. The board will dine Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Market Place Restaurant. An announcement says no town business will be discussed.
Commissioners are staying at the Hotel Indigo, 151 Haywood St., where they will meet on Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The daylong meeting in the hotel’s Inspiration Meeting Room “is designed to give the Board an opportunity to reflect on how you are working together,” according to a town announcement.
See the meeting announcement on the town website.