Just a few weeks after Nexus began operating some parts of the pipeline in Northeast Ohio, Summit County officials are proposing a plan in case of emergency.
County Executive Ilene Shapiro and two county council members have proposed the creation of a pipeline emergency fund. The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the money will come from the property tax revenue generated by the pipeline.
According to Nexus’s estimated property tax revenue document, Summit is projected to receive about $4.3 million dollars over the next five years from the pipeline.
The Beacon reports that county leaders expect the final numbers to be less than the estimates — about $400,000 to $500,000 over five years. The money will be moved from the general fund to a new fund starting in 2021.
Shapiro’s Chief of Staff Jason Dodson told WKSU on October 31st that the money will be used for training emergency responders how to deal with pipeline concerns, such as leaks or explosions. He said the proposal came from concerned residents in Green and New Franklin, where the pipeline passes through.
The proposal was read for the first time at a county council meeting last week. The county is expected to vote on the proposal in mid-November.
I think this is certainly an innovative way to use the funds the pipeline could provide for the county. At the very least, it could help citizens feel safer and satisfied after a several year-long battle opposing the pipeline.
Dodson told the Beacon that as far as he knows, Summit County is the only county thus far to propose an emergency fund like this. It will be interesting to see if other counties follow suit in the upcoming weeks.