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July 09, 2014 09:55 PM

Possible Oil Pipeline Could Go Through Harrisburg

Harrisburg, SD

Even Harrisburg City Administrator Andrew Pietrus admits information about an oil pipeline has caught city officials off guard. The first time they even heard of this possibility was Monday morning.

"A landowner to the west of Harrisburg contacted us and sent us a copy of the letter and asked if we were aware of the project or if anyone else had received letters," Pietrus said.

So far, only one person is known to have received the letter. It's from a company called Dakota Access based out of Williston, North Dakota. It asks the home owner to take a survey on how a pipeline would impact their land.

"We have five pipelines that pass through Harrisburg already that are of substantial size and they've all been really good neighbors. I suspect that at some point they'll contact us and we probably don't have a lot to be worried about," Pietrus said.

When Pietrus contacted Dakota Access, he was informed that plans for the pipeline are already in motion and that it could cross through the city.

"They said that they already have four staff members in the area meeting with land owners and that they will be setting up a full-time office in Sioux Falls sometime soon," Pietrus said.

People in Harrisburg are in the same boat as Pietrus, not having much information to work with.

"I don't know much about it, but I do know that anything that is good for the economy of the community and the local area is good and we support economic growth," Jim Heine said.

There are many questions as well.

"It would concern me just from bringing in something like that through our ground system here with little kids, I'm always concerned about water and that kind of stuff," Holly Hodge said.

Pietrus says that if anyone else gets a mailing about the pipeline, he suggests doing what is best for you and your property.

"Be conscious of their own property and what's best for them as land owners and property owners," Pietrus said.

Since there is limited information available about the project, Pietrus says that he and city staff will continue with their research in hopes of providing a clearer picture of what this pipeline project may look like.

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