Following a presentation by a Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company attorney and complaints from residents that they were not given adequate time to study details of what approval of a proposed , resolution and the agreement with the Tennessee Company would involve, the Township of West Milford Council on Wednesday, Aug. 11, agreed to delay taking action.
If approved the resolution would authorize and direct Mayor Michele Dale to execute the agreement and take all action necessary to effectuate its terms.
Environmentalists Karl Stehle of Lakeside and Renee Allessio of Upper Greenwood Lake were among a half dozen people questioning reasoning of the local governing board members if they supported the resolution.
Allessio suggested that the council delay passage or table the document for at least a month since the public only had one day to become familiar with its details and ramifications of an agreement. She said more time for study is needed. Stehle agreed and he reminded the local governing board members that they were elected to represent the people of the township and he questioned if they are doing so.
A proposal for West Milford to sign an agreement with the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company was seen by Allessio as an act of “total betrayal” to not only the people of West Milford but those of Vernon, Ringwood and other area towns.
Allessio reminded the council that she and others were before them for months seeking information. She saw a “Carte blanche” agreement that seemed to in the works without opposition as being unacceptable.
The now shelved resolution notes that the township wishes to memorialize its intention to work with Tennessee throughout the course of the project by entering into an agreement to address, among other things, ad valorem taxes to be paid as a result of the construction of the compressor station