- September 5, 2021
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Marysville recently granted SEMCO Energy a temporary construction easement and a permanent easement along Ravenswood Road for a new natural gas pipeline between the city and Port Huron.
The permanent easement is about 20 feet wide and runs along a 40-acre parcel owned by the city.
The company will pay the city $5 per lineal foot for roughly 2,700 lineal feet of construction easement, and $10 per lineal foot for about 2,700 lineal feet of permanent easement. The city’s total compensation will be $40,515.
The construction easement runs through the completion of the pipeline or December 2022, whichever comes first.
“They’ve come to us seeking an easement on Ravenswood,” said Randy Fernandez, city manager, at the council’s Aug. 9 meeting. “We’ve had four or five meetings with SEMCO officials. Legal has also been involved in a few of those meetings.”
The company has an existing gas storage facility in the city and is embarking on an infrastructure program to create more pipeline resiliency in the Marysville-Port Huron area.
“We already have an existing primary gas pipeline that runs along Michigan Road from our site to Port Huron,” said Mark VanderHeuvel, director of engineering for SEMCO. The site is called the Morton Storage Field. “We’re looking for an alternate path to have a redundancy in this area. It’s a 10-inch pipeline … that runs south to north. Often we route close to electrical infrastructure. The city’s property is adjacent to the ITC corridor. However, their area is insufficient to fit our easement. The next best property is the Marysville property.”
ITC is the International Transmission Co.
“We’re not giving up our rights to these two parcels,” said Fernandez. “It’s just an easement. They’re willing to compensate us for this easement. They’re also willing to compensate us for the temporary staging area they’ll need for their equipment. The price the city has negotiated is a fair price. They have a price for vacant land per square foot and a higher price for buildings. They have us the higher price. But, really, it’s not so much about the money. It’s about helping out one of our corporate taxpayers to do the right thing.”
Fernandez said that he has urged SEMCO to purchase the easements in the future and SEMCO is interested.
“But this fits with their needs right now,” Fernandez said. “City administration believes this is a win-win for both entities.”
“If we do approve this tonight and further down the road the city decides to sell the parcels to someone other than SEMCO, this easement would just flow through to the buyer of the property and would just be noted on the title?” asked Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Hayman. “Is that correct?”
“Yes,” said Al Francis, city attorney.
“How deep is your pipeline?” asked council member Dave Barber.
“We typically run four feet underground,” said VanderHeuvel. “The minimum is three to four feet.”
The city council voted unanimously to approve granting the easements to SEMCO.
Jim Bloch is a freelance writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.