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Inspection details are next hurdle for pipeline agreement

Staff writer

Marion County, Keystone Pipeline parent company TransCanada, and engineering firms need to determine details of agreements to inspect roads and monitor right-of-way crossings before TransCanada and the county approve an agreement, commissioners determined Monday.

Commissioners met with Road and Bridge Superintendent John Summerville, County Attorney Susan Robson, and Keystone representative Tommy Darnell. Commission Chairman Dan Holub participated in the discussion via speakerphone.

TransCanada already has an agreement in place with Dickinson County, and commissioners used that agreement as a starting point for discussions with Darnell.

Holub said he was concerned about terms such as “reasonable costs” and “reasonable efforts” in the agreement. He questioned who will determine what is reasonable.

An engineering firm will be needed for two phases of the project. In both cases, the county would contract the firm, and TransCanada would reimburse the county. The first phase will involve inspecting possible routes for TransCanada to move heavy equipment in the county and recommending such a haul route.

Commissioners previously accepted a proposal from Kirkham Michael for inspection services, which includes a lump sum payment of $25,000. Darnell said it is unlikely TransCanada will agree to the contract, because the company would prefer to pay an hourly rate. TransCanada may negotiate with Kirkham Michael to alter the agreement.

The second phase would require an inspector to ensure TransCanada meets its obligations for road crossings. The two phases of inspection do not need to be performed by the same firm, and Holub said he would like them to be addressed separately in the agreement.

Kaw Valley Engineering, of Junction City, is providing both phases of inspection for Dickinson County.

In other business:

  • Cooperative Grain and Supply, of Hillsboro, won a bid to provide 4,000 gallons of clear diesel, 1,500 gallons of dyed diesel, and 2,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline, with a bid of $20,378. Cardie Oil Company, of Tampa, bid $20,638.
  • The county’s insurance premiums from Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company increased less than $2,000, to $103,267 for the year. Agent Richard Nickel discussed some opportunities to reduce premiums, including increasing deductibles and removing collision and comprehensive coverage from some vehicles. The county’s claims in 2009 were about 109 percent of its premium.
  • Ag Service will provide 50 gallons of Pathway herbicide for Road and Bridge Department employees to treat tree stumps. The company bid $1,455. Markley Service bid $1,540 and Cooperative Grain and Supply bid $1,663.
  • Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt met with commissioners, County Clerk Carol Maggard, and Deputy County Clerk Tina Spencer in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken afterward.

The next commission meeting will be Monday.

Last modified Jan. 7, 2010

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