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February 13, 2013

Gas pipeline to affect county roads

GREENVILLE — The Hunt County Commissioners Court voted to table a discussion on constructing a 16-inch diameter natural gas liquids pipeline across and under 11 roads in Hunt County.

Phillip A. Martin, Precinct 3 Commissioner, asked for George Kmetz, lead right of way agent for Coates Field Service Inc., to add a stipulation to the agreement with the county before he would approve the agreement.

“There needs to be some kind of guarantee that any damage would be repaired,” he said.

According to Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Atkins, the county roads are not built to handle the weight of the machines required to install the pipes. Nine of the roads that would be affected are in Precinct 2.

“This county or any other county roads aren’t meant to handle that weight limit,” he said, adding that he would agree to the stipulation that Martin put forth.

Kmetz said he would rework the document and will bring it to the next commissioners court meeting.

The county roads on the list are: 1120, 2740, 2736, 2706, 2708, 2602, 2616, 2628, 2510, 2512 and 3702.

After meeting the required environmental standards, Ricky L. Ray was granted a junkyard permit for his auto salvage yard, Rick’s Auto Salvage, located at 4342 Highway 34.

Ray was denied a permit late last year due to not having a fence set up around the yard. A fence was recently built around the property and, according to Atkins, the fence was built well.

“For a junkyard, it’s the nicest fence I’ve seen,” Atkins said.

The commissioners also heard from Jerry Ransom regarding the proposed new YMCA/events center. Ransom, the chairman of the committee seeking to replace the 50-year-old YMCA building on 1915 Stanford Street, said the current facility has fallen into disrepair.

“If something isn’t done, it will be closed or condemned,” he said.

Recently, Ransom, along with Greg Sims, president/CEO of the Greenville Board of Development, has been making presentations to various organizations to raise support for the proposed $15 million project.

“This will be good not just for Greenville,” Ransom said, adding that 40 percent of the members live outside of Greenville city limits. “Even though it’s more costly, it is more beneficial for the community.”

Sims said the YMCA would also include a wellness center and a medical facility, and would be able to host events such as trade shows and graduation ceremonies.

The proposed location would be next to the Greenville SportsPark, along Monty Stratton Parkway.

Several schools and businesses have approved of the project, including Paris Junior College (PJC).

Pam Anglin, president of PJC, said the college would be able to expand if a new YMCA was built.

“We could use the events center to teach kinesiology courses such as archery, weight lifting and swimming,” she said.

No action was taken on the presentation by the commissioners.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Atkins said the new building would be a definite benefit, but added that cost is the biggest drawback.

“I like the concept and, long term, this will be a great thing,” he said. “I’m just concerned about the price.”

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