The 4-3 vote gives the city $7.5 million and 20 acres of park land.
GREEN The NEXUS Pipeline project will be able to move forward following a close vote by Green City Council.
During a special meeting Wednesday night, council voted 4-3 in favor of the NEXUS settlement which will give Green $7.5 million and 20 acres of park land adjacent to Boettler Park. The vote resulted in many unhappy residents who said several members of council “sold out” the residents.
The vote came following an hour of comments from residents in Green and surrounding communities urging council to vote no on the settlement.
Green resident Justin Leonti called the deal from NEXUS a scare tactic and said NEXUS would make back the $7.5 million within four and half hours of operation.
“We are worried about the crumbs as NEXUS takes the whole cake,” Leonti said. “We need to fight this to the end.”
Leonti also said that Green needs to make a statement to show the state and entire United States what Green is really made of.
Residents posed many questions to council about water quality, the amount of money offered, but they all agreed the settlement was not worth taking.
Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer said there has been a lot of anger in the community towards NEXUS and he understand that. He said residents should also be upset with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approving the project.
The mayor along with members of council realize the pipeline coming is a reality.
Neugebauer stressed to members of council that voting no on the settlement would not move the pipeline or stop the project from coming through. He said the $7.5 million doesn’t mean much, but voting yes is the most probable solution.
“No city has worked harder and had more success than the city of Green,” Neugebauer said.
He called the temporary stay of construction order in the 6th Circuit Court of appeals a small win for the city, but knows it could be lifted soon.
Voting for the settlement was Bob Young, Barbara Babbitt, Rocco Yeargin and Chris Humphrey.
Yeargin stressed he wants to use the money and resources being offered in the settlement to keep residents safe.
Babbitt said she had a hard time with the vote but wants to see a plan put in place immediately to move the ball fields that will be impacted by the pipeline and the blast zone.
Humphrey said he doesn’t see a legal option or better deal being offered to the city based on the legal council the city has. He said the city can choose to accept this settlement or possibly receive nothing in the future.
Voting against the settlement was Matthew Shaughnessy, Stephen Dyer and Justin Speight. Shaughnessy said the residents were loud and clear they didn’t want a casino in Green, medical marijuana and they have also been clear they don’t want the NEXUS pipeline.
“A no vote keeps the fight alive,” Shaughnessy said. “We are not a city that can be bought.”
Speight said he is not ready to throw in the white flag.
“Supporting a settlement was not what I was elected to do,” Speight said.
Attorney David Mucklow, who is involved with The Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (CORN), said he has been in the fight since day one and the fight isn’t over. He said since the vote was not a majority, that the process can begin to petition to put the issue on the ballot and let the voters decide.