Pipeline opponents ask Park Rapids for support
By Anna Erickson
Friends of the Headwaters asked the Park Rapids City Council Tuesday night to pass a resolution asking the Public Utilities Commission to consider alternate routes for a pipeline that is proposed through Hubbard County.
Without discussion, Mayor Pat Mikesh said the resolution would be referred to staff and could return to a council meeting at a future date.
A similar resolution was passed by the Hubbard County Board earlier this month with a 3-2 vote.
FOH chair Richard Smith said the resolution didn’t ask the council to support the pipeline but simply to consider different routes around the county’s pristine lakes and rivers.
The organization has proposed alternate routes that place the pipeline away from lakes and other aquifers in Hubbard County. The aquifers, in particular Straight River, need to be protected, he said.
The route proposed by Enbridge goes across three tributaries that flow into the Fish Hook chain. An oil spill could affect property values on those lakes, which would in turn hurt the city of Park Rapids, Smith said.
Soil in this area would also be affected, he added.
Fred Nordstrom asked the council to think about the risk of the pipeline and “think about our children and grandchildren.”
Councilmember Erika Randall told those who attended the council meeting that the resolution may or may not return to a council meeting. It will be up to staff.