It was the same song, second verse Monday morning when Marion County commission met with representatives from Keystone Pipeline.
The issues being addressed were whether or not a pipe yard should be allowed at 290th and Quail Creek roads, the condition of county roads after the pipeline is constructed, and what, exactly, the pipeline company would be willing to do to repair or replace the roads after construction.
County Appraiser Cindy Magill asked whether landowners signing the lease agreement with the pipeline company for the pipe yard were aware that their taxes would increase. Land used for agriculture is taxed lower than land used for commercial, which is what this property would become during the time the pipe yard is there.
No one mentioned whether the Canadian-owned company would pay property taxes on their pipeline. That has been another debate when it was “assumed” that the company might not have to pay taxes.
So, what is in it for us?
Some Marion County property owners who have signed lease agreements could pay more taxes but will be compensated by the pipeline company for that increase.
The county could see more road repairs in the future that will not be addressed — or even known — when the project is closed.
The county might receive a fairly good-sized check each year in taxes, but that’s only if the company doesn’t receive a tax exemption from the state.
Retail businesses should flourish when the 300-plus construction workers come to town.
Is it worth it?
Will it lower the price at the gas pump?
Will it bring wealth to property owners?
Will it keep the county from having to raise taxes by contributing to that ever-important tax base?
From the looks of things, we probably don’t have much of a choice. It seemed that no matter what, the pipeline is coming through. It’s just a matter of reaching an agreement everyone can live with.
Stick to your guns, commissioners. We’ve spent a lot of money on county roads with other roads needing attention. Make sure the agreement with the pipeline company is a good one.
— susan berg