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Pipeline meeting on again, but not when magistrates wanted it

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Fiscal court reverses earlier decision, votes to host meeting with Williams

By Ben Carlson

There will be a public meeting about the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline after all, but not later this month.
Just weeks after rejecting an offer with the pipeline’s developer and saying such a meeting would do no good because the developer “wouldn’t answer questions anyway,” Judge-Executive John Wayne Conway did an about face last Tuesday and asked magistrates to approve a meeting for Nov. 19.
Magistrates unanimously approved the meeting, only to find out two days that the developer, Williams Company, already had meetings scheduled elsewhere and couldn’t be there.
Conway said Friday that he has spoken with company officials who now will attempt to schedule a meeting sometime next month.
Asked why he changed his mind about holding public meeting with Williams, Conway said it was due to concerns he heard from residents.
It remains to be seen exactly what type of meeting will transpire in December. Several weeks ago, Conway said the company offered to come and answer questions, but didn’t clarify if that meant questions from the public or just the fiscal court.
On Thursday, before learning the Nov. 19 meeting had to be postponed, Conway — who is a staunch opponent of the pipeline — said he isn’t interested in having a large number of people ask questions during the meeting.
“I don’t want 120 people standing up and asking questions,” Conway said. “I want [the public] to get a group together and have maybe one or two people ask questions. That’s all I want.”
Tom Droege, a spokesman for Williams, said Friday that the company would gladly field questions from the public.
“It will be up to [Conway] to decide the format,” Droege said. “Any time we get a chance to field questions from the public, we like to do that.”