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Chester County Press

Franklin supervisors hear pipeline details

07/22/2016 01:39PM ● By J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The long-discussed natural gas pipeline expansion project by Eastern Shore Natural Gas took a step closer to reality last week with approval of the project by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The 2017 Expansion Project has been a topic of concern in Chester County, where public open houses on the topic were most recently held on July 12 and 13. At the July 20 Franklin Township Board of Supervisors meeting, Paul Lagasse of the Historical Commission reported to the supervisors that there had been several postings on the FERC website regarding plans for what is called the Kemblesville Loop of the pipeline project. Lagasse said that Delaware Senators and a Representative had supported Eastern Shore's request for an expedited decision regarding the Kemblesville Loop. Last week, the FERC responded with a favorable decision.

The Eastern Shore 2017 Expansion Project consists of approximately 33 miles of pipeline looping in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware; upgrades to existing metering facilities; installation of an additional 3,550 horsepower compressor unit at the existing Daleville compressor station; and about 17 miles of new mainline extension and the addition of two pressure control stations in Delaware. The changes are being made to increase capacity and transportation of natural gas to markets in Delaware, but the lines run through Chester County. In some places, new, larger gas lines would be run next to existing lines. Updates on the Eastern Shore Pipeline are posted on the township website (www.franklintownship.us).

Another long-simmering issue has been the expansion of the Gourmet's Delight Mushroom facility which borders Franklin Township. With the township's efforts to block the expansion now ended by the state District Attorney, the supervisors on July 20 approved parcel line changes located at 420 Auburn Road. After the realignments, several parcels owned by Gourmet's Delight have been combined, and land has been exchanged between the company and a landowner on the southern border of their property. No new lots or improvements were part of the plan.

The board extended its review of the Gourmet's Delight preliminary land development plan to Oct. 20, 2016. The public hearing on the plan that had been scheduled for July 19 was moved to Nov. 17, 2016.

The board also unanimously voted to approve an ordinance that will add a brewery use as one of the uses permitted accessory to agriculture by conditional use. The ordinance came about because Paradocx Vineyard is seeking to open a brewery and beer tasting facility at their existing winery. As part of the ordinance, outdoor events will end at 11 p.m., and the timing of indoor events will be governed by the State Liquor Control Board.

Discussion continued about the renovations to be made to the township office building. Board chairman John Auerbach has presented plans to complete the renovations in stages, starting with an office to be used by the township manager/treasurer, and continuing with renovations to the bathroom in the public meeting room to make it ADA compliant. The board voted to authorize the township manager to solicit bids for the office renovation work.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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