Williams fields questions about compressor

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Glenn Koch, Williams director of projects, who will be site manager for the proposed Church compressor station and Williams’ spokesman Dan Fernald field questions from neighbors of the site. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER

Williams Gathering held an informational session for people who lived within a mile and a half radius of its proposed Church Compressor Station on Friday night.
It marks the third compressor station in the area and around 75 persons showed up with mostly curiosity about what it all would mean,
Dimock resident Joyce Stone said she felt the venue “was a positive beginning to help residents better understand what we might face living near these compressor stations,” and she appreciated the opportunity to dialog one-on-one.
The meeting was not without some controversy as a few area residents who have concerns but were not invited, weren’t let inside the school’s cafeteria where Williams had around six different stations where its employees fielded questions.
At one station dealing with environmental issues, persons could ask about noise levels, for instance; and at another there was discussion about land; and at another about traffic during the construction phase; at another a station that showed infrared sensors set up to monitor gas emissions from a typical kitchen range; and there was a hospitality table with cookies and beverages.
Williams’ spokesman Helen Humphreys said the venue was set aside to give neighbors of the proposed compressor station an opportunity to ask the company about it, and register their concerns.
Craig Stevens and Vera Scroggins, however, said they felt they were being excluded.
They thought it was improper for a public school to be holding a meeting in which there was a public health interest, and very seriously believed the county had a stake in decisions made.
Although the Susquehanna County Planning Commission had signed off on some aspects of the proposed Church compressor station, Stevens said, “The community has not given this project a thumbs up and so we’re concerned they’re having top secret meetings that only people that are invited can go to.”
Stone said, she, too, had some concerns about public information.
“I would like more public opportunity with more serious dialog to occur with both Williams and Cabot on a regular basis,” she said.
Reached Tuesday about the meeting, Mike Ognosky, superintendent of the Montrose Area School District, said he was unaware until just before it was to start that the space reserved Friday night was an invitation only event, and that “From this date forward, we won’t be involved in reserving space for events that exclude segments of the public.”