“It’s time for us to vote,” Lougee said.
Grinnell said he will attend the Planning Commission meeting and ask to address the commission on the issue.
‘NOT AN ISLAND’
International Paper spokeswoman Donna Wadsworth said they appreciate Grinnell’s efforts.
“Bill is petitioning to have a voice.”
Vermont Gas spokesman Steve Wark said they also agree with Grinnell’s request to contribute to the process.
“It only makes sense that our neighbors in New York should participate in the regional planning process. Vermont is not an island. It’s important we work with our neighboring communities and states.”
On Monday, Grinnell got the Essex County Board of Supervisors Ways and Means Committee to pass a resolution in support of Phase 2 of the pipeline project. The county will take a final vote next Monday at its regular monthly meeting.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s a necessary thing to do.”
Grinnell also asked all 18 towns in Essex County to pass resolutions supporting the IP spur. The Ticonderoga Town Council passed one after Monday’s county meeting.
IP will pay $62 million of the $64.4 million cost of the pipeline branch to the mill, so it can burn less expensive natural gas, instead of fuel oil, in its power boiler and lime kiln. Savings are estimated at more than $2 million a year.
IP will also pay $45 million toward the Middlebury to Rutland, Vt. extension cost of $70 million.
Besides the savings on fuel, the switch would also greatly reduce the plant’s carbon emissions, Wadsworth said.
PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD
The Planning Commission supported Phase 1 of the pipeline and executed a memorandum of understanding with Vermont Gas to supply equipment for first responders who might be called to incidents involving the line.
Vermont Gas got permission late last year from the Vermont Public Service Board to extend the gas pipeline to Vergennes and Middlebury and Phase 2 would go from Middlebury to Rutland, with the branch line for International Paper.