MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas Gas Service is getting pushback from neighbors in Manhattan over plans to remove trees near a gas line. A neighborhood meeting is being held with the utility company at Anthony Recreation Center Monday night.
The utility provider is planning to start maintenance on an exposed gas line between Anthony Rec Center and Gary Ave. The line was installed in the early ’80s and a creek has eroded the ground exposing the line.
Kansas Gas has a utility easement of 100 feet surrounding the line. The company plans to lower the line and clear a large chunk of trees in that easement.
Manhattan Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Chair Ed Klimek lives in the neighborhood. He said Kansas Gas should do more to protect the trees.
“Once you lose that natural habitat and that natural area, it’s gone forever,” Klimek said. “You can’t replace that.”
Last month, neighbors met with Kansas Gas for the first time. Klimek said the company heard their concerns and neighbors suggested ways for them to preserve the trees in the area.
“We want to have them clear cut, if they need to do their maintenance on their gas line, 20 to 30 feet from that gas line,” Klimek said. “We think that will satisfy their future needs.”
Dawn Tripp is the Public Relations Officer with Kansas Gas Service. She said the company plans to start construction on the line later this month. The project is expected to take two weeks.
“The tree removal that we are going to require is important to the project, so we can safely excavate and lower that pipeline,” Tripp said. “It’s critical that we are able to access our pipeline to inspect it on a regular basis and to operate reliably.”
The neighborhood meeting runs Monday night from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the second floor of Anthony Recreation Center. During this meeting, Klimek said they hope to hear whether Kansas Gas will address their concerns or move forward with the project as planned.