Keystone Pipeline and County Fire Condition Updates
August 2, 2017
Last week Valley County Commissioners met with people from the Keystone Pipeline and discussed new developments on the project and updates on their plan for the area. Some of the plans include improvements being made to three county roads that the company plans to use regularly in Valley County. These roads include Burns Road, Britsch Road and Bear Creek Road. Commissioners stated that the keystone officials stated there are plans to put man camps near Hinsdale located off of Burns Road and another one located 2 or 3 miles north of Park Grove, with each one hosting 1,000 workers. Updates to the other two roads will be made as they will used frequently to access the pipeline and an update on one of the bridges will be made as well to handle the increased traffic.
The officials stated that they are still grappling with Kansas over a situation with the layout and with roads in that state, pending the outcome there that they are ready to roll on the project. They are optimistic that the project should begin in two years time. They are hoping to begin a staging year next year to iron out all the details on the project, with construction to begin the following year.
County commissioners also stated that during their weekly conference call regarding fire prevention they determined that the county will remain in stage one fire restrictions at this time. The conference includes several counties on the eastern side of the state and officials from the Department Of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC). Several counties on the call reported that conditions are worsening due to the dryness of this summer and were considering implementing stage 2 fire restrictions should they continue to worsen.
Should stage 2 fire conditions be implemented, several restrictions would be put in place that would impact local farmers and law enforcement. For instance, restrictions would be put in place for harvesting, several other actions would be limited to morning only, and an increased burden would be placed on the sheriffs office as well to enforce these restrictions.
The commissioners also stated that local fire departments across the county have been giving aid to other fire departments in neighboring counties. Their combined efforts have quelled wild fires in areas that border Valley County and would like offer their gratitude for their efforts. Our local firefighters are facing a progressively worsening fire season and deserve all the appreciation that we can give them for their hard work and dedication.
Finally, there is work scheduled on the courthouse roof on Aug. 2. There may be parking or access issues in the area.