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  • Last modified 3149 days ago (April 1, 2010)

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Legislators need to hear from us

There’s an opportunity for state legislators to make a decision that could have a profoundly positive effect on their constituents.

A Senate bill was written in committee to require TransCanada (Keystone Pipeline System) to make payments to the counties — including Marion County — where the pipeline will be constructed in lieu of paying property tax which the company was exempt from in 2006.

What a windfall this would be for our county and the other counties involved.

What’s there to think about? What reasons could the state legislators have to not approve this?

On a similar note, there has been much discussion between constituents and former Rep. Don Dahl and that now infamous exemption.

County Commissioner Dan Holub stopped by the office recently to talk about the proposed payments. He and other county officials are still chapped that they were not included in discussions a few years ago with the pipeline company when even the Keystone lobbying company was included.

The talk about the pipeline bypassing Kansas is ludicrous. Why would they go twice as far at twice the expense to go around the Sunflower State?

We all know there are many angles and facets of government — the higher it gets, the more complicated I’m sure. But our elected officials are supposed to be looking out for the best interest of their constituents.

When the original pipeline project was proposed, some understood it would meet the state’s requirements to be tax exempt. That is a moot issue at this point. However, we have an opportunity to capture some of those lost dollars through this payment plan.

Which Kansas senator and representative will be brave enough to stand up to the pipeline company and advocate for this bill? Surely those who represent Marion County would do it.

Word has it the Senate bill may never get out of committee.

Why?

Are there other dealings, perhaps even some under the table that we’re not aware of? If there are, shame on those legislators who approved this.

We all need to contact our local representatives and tell them to get behind this agreement for the betterment of this county.

If we don’t do anything, then we’re condoning this exemption and other potential “deals” in the future.

— susan berg

Last modified April 1, 2010

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