Proposed gas pipeline raising concerns in Homer

A local group called "Stop the 81 Pipeline" met with neighbors in Homer on Monday night to discuss a proposed pipeline project by Millenium Pipeline Company to build a high-pressure gas transmission line running parallel to I-81 from Broome to Onondaga Counties.

The group is concerned that the company will use predatory tactics to pressure neighbors into signing bad land deals.

"These are very, very complex real estate deals," said Joe Heath, General Council at Onondaga Nation. "People should not sign them. So this is an opportunity to get the landowners before they can get bullied or pushed into a deal."

Dozens of neighbors were at the meeting to learn more about the pipeline.

"It's very important that...we are very educated, and let the companies know that we know what they're doing, and that we expect to be a part of the dialogue and solution," said Gail Bundy of Homer.

"Stop the 81 Pipeline" members said pipelines drive down property values, and that this particular pipeline would offer no economic benefits to Central New York.

"This pipeline is a high-pressure transmission line, so the gas is not set to serve anyone locally," said organizer Isaac Silberman-Gorn. "It's set to strictly carry the gas abroad as quickly as possible because that's where the money is."

Organizers suggest homeowners consult with lawyers, compare information with neighbors, and not sign when approached by the Millenium Pipeline Company.

The group Millenium's timeline for the project remains unclear.

Last May, the Millenium Pipeline Company put out a request to businesses planning to dig for natural gas to assess interest in a 24-inch pipeline along the Route 81 Corridor.

The company's public websites gives no indiction of how much interest was expressed by any natural gas suppliers.