SEMCO granted temporary space for pipeline

Roger Zappa, township attorney, Marquette Township

MARQUETTE — A SEMCO Energy Gas Co. request for additional easements along the route of its new natural gas pipeline was approved unanimously by the Marquette Township Board on Tuesday.

The expansion allows SEMCO an additonal seven-tenths of an acre to increase its temporary workspace along the current easement for which it will pay additional compensation of $500 to the township.

According to the agreement, no facilities will be constructed on the site, and SEMCO agrees to pay all damages to crops and fences from its use of the land upon completion of the project.

The board approved an initial 40-foot-wide temporary easement consisting of 1.27 acres lying north of the Carp River in Marquette Township and a 1.11-acre section of temporary and extra work space, with total compensation to the township of $1,800, during a meeting in June 2018

“They need more space when they are putting the pipeline in and so forth,” Township Attorney Roger Zappa told the board. “They need places to park equipment and places to put dirt, things of that nature where the road is narrow.”

The section is part of the proposed 43-mile long Marquette Connector Pipeline that would connect the Great Lakes Gas Transmission system near Arnold, which runs through the southern part of the Upper Peninsula, with the Northern Natural Gas system to the north in Marquette.

Construction of the 20-inch in diameter pipeline is expected to cost $135 million, which will be paid for in part by an $3.99 cost recovery charge on residential customer bills, according to a SEMCO presentation in 2017.

The company has began clearing trees and brush in preparation for the project in March.