SAUK VILLAGE | Village Trustee Derrick Burgess said Wednesday he hopes businesses take advantage of the financial benefits from a pipeline to be built in 2014-15 that will pass through the village.
Burgess said that while crews are building the pipeline and are working in Sauk Village, they will be prospective customers at local businesses.
“If there’s 300 workers, that's 300 cups of coffee being sold to them every morning,” Burgess said. “That’s 300 hot dogs or sandwiches or whatever being sold.”
Burgess also said some entities in Sauk Village will be able to make money from allowing construction crews to store items on their property, while other homeowners may be affected by the route tentatively being considered for the pipeline. It would run east of, and parallel to, Torrence Avenue until it dips south into Will County.
“Some people are going to be able to make some money, and our community needs that infusion,” Burgess said. “There really isn’t a negative to this project, I want all of the community to embrace this.”
Burgess was among several people who attended a Wednesday forum put together by Enbridge Energy. The company is developing a 77-mile pipeline from Enbridge’s Hartsdale plant near Griffith, cutting through Schererville and Dyer, crossing into Sauk Village, where it would then continue south and west until ending at Enbridge’s Flanagan plant near Pontiac in east-central Illinois.
Enbridge officials say the 36-inch diameter pipeline would add up to 570,000 barrels of per day of capacity. Enbridge spokeswoman Jennifer Smith said officials hope to begin construction in autumn 2014 — with the project expected to take 10 months to complete.
Smith said the pipeline’s route generally parallels an existing pipeline connecting the two Enbridge plants, except in the Cook County section because officials were forced to take certain environmental factors into consideration and create a route around certain properties.
Wednesday’s hearing was a chance for residents to ask questions of Enbridge officials, although the biggest concern of local residents seemed to be whether the proposed pipeline route would cut through their own property.
Smith said officials eventually will notify those whose property will be affected. She said corporate officials see Wednesday’s hearing, along with a hearing scheduled today at Andorra’s Banquets, 1112 U.S. Route 41, in Schererville, as chances to gain goodwill from residents toward the project.
“We want to try to make sure everybody understands everything about this project,” Smith said.
Burgess, for his part, said he thinks Sauk Village benefits in that the pipeline is something different from the political squabbling that usually dominates news coverage about the village. “This is something positive happening in our community.”