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T/Pound Grants WPS Conditional Use Permit

Pound--The Town of Pound Plan Commission granted a conditional use permit to Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) to install a natural gas utility regulator on the east side of the intersection at West 16th Road and Business Highway 141. The decision came at a brief meeting of the Plan Commission on Thursday, June 5, that followed a 46 minute public hearing on the request.

The new facility will allow WPS to decrease pressure on the gas flow from 100 pounds to 60 pounds, allowing for the use of a new plastic pipeline to Northeast Asphalt plant on Highway 64.  Northeast Asphalt will pay for the new facility and pipe, and the cost will not accrue to taxpayers or ratepayers.

The 100 foot by 80 foot easement north of the baseball diamond will have a small, above-ground regulator station emerge from the larger pipe to the south, change the pressure, and pump natural gas at a lower pressure on the new pipeline to the east. Howard Sorenson of Wisconsin Public Service told the Commission that the regulator station is no less safe than the meter on the side of a house that uses natural gas. Hundreds of these stations have been built in Wisconsin, and problems have been very rare. There will be a shutoff valve 50 feet from the facility and signs on the fence surrounding it with phone numbers to call if someone smells gas.

Sorenson cleared up some confusion that had arisen over the application and WPS’s construction work in the area.  Lack of communication over WPS’s plans and earlier failure to request a permit displeased Commission member John Gaffney, who told Sorenson “No one came and asked a simple question, ‘Do we need a permit?’” Mike Oski, a consultant who works with WPS, replied that WPS assumed that with a 66 foot right of way on Highway 141, no permit was needed.  Until quite recently, they did not know that a permit was required.

Commission members asked other questions about the safety of the facility that would be close to a baseball field and about the appearance of the plant once it is completed. The hearing adjourned at 7:46 p.m. After a short break, Chairperson Roger Gusick called the official meeting of the commission to order at 7:50 p.m. After approval of the agenda, the commission voted unanimously to approve the request from Wisconsin Public Service for the conditional use permit.

Joining Gusick, Sorenson, Oski and Gaffney were commission members Myron Nasgovitz, John Wendler, and Tom Prue, along with Zoning Administrator Tom Rich, Town Supervisors Leonard Semrau and Dave Pellman, Town Chairman Gerald Heroux, and his wife, Kathy. The formal meeting ended at 7:55 p.m.

 

 


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