Looks like we have a theme here, of Spectra and Sabal Trail not answering questions, often accompanied by mentions of threatening letters, on WALB (Spectra reps not familiar with fines against their own company), from Shale Property Rights (“your statement is incorrect and misleading”), on WCTV (“tonight’s meeting didn’t ease everyone’s fears”), in the Moultrie Observer (“Sabal began sending letters to landowners”), on Chris Beckham’s radio show (“veiled threats” and no response to a landowner attorney’s letter of denial of access), and spelled out in the headline of yesterday’s VDT article.
Matthew Woody wrote for the VDT yesterday, Sabal Trail meeting leaves questions unanswered,
“It’s the same set up as the meeting at Wiregrass,” said affected landowner Carol Singletary. “I am disappointed.”
Brooks County landowner, Tracy Ryder, said the hardest part about the layout of the meeting was that residents had to come with the right questions to ask because Sabal Trail did not easily provide the information.
“Overall, the meeting has good presentations, but not good information. It seems to be designed to win admiration without providing value. Some of the representatives have been courteous, but they aren’t straightforward with residents,” said James Ryder. “After this meeting, I feel kind of let down. I didn’t get the information that I wanted.”
Many residents expressed concern about safety issues, property values, paying property taxes on land that cannot be developed, reselling their property, and proper compensation for the use of their land.
We attended an open house meeting conducted by Sabal Trail in Valdosta, GA, last October at which time people were able to view charts and map and ask questions regarding the proposed pipeline and corridors. Sabal Trail representatives were not releasing information about the corridors and specific properties that were to be impacted because they said they were still in the planning and research stages. They did state they wanted to lay their pipeline next to the SONAT line, and that they were no longer considering utilizing the corridor affecting Tifton, Georgia because “there were too many people involved”. My reply to that was that property owners in Brooks County are people, too, and that we are already negatively impacted by the pre-existing SONAT pipe line.
Most importantly, we did note that there was no representation of Brooks County people at that meeting, or at any of the following meetings in Lowndes County. Lowndes County citizens are quite organized in their resistance to this new pipe line. We are contacting you with a questionnaire to learn what your concerns are. If Brooks County property owners organize and form a united front, we should be able to have our concerns addressed. By organizing we will have greater leverage to if not to change the course of the new gas line, to demand and negotiate better compensation for our losses. As I fear they will be significant.
And according to the VDT, the Ryders remain disappointed in the pipeline company for not supplying information. They’re not the only ones.