ELYRIA — The Lorain County commissioners will earn $584.40 for leasing a 50-foot easement in Eaton Township for the NEXUS natural gas pipeline that will be part of a spur line that will take gas from Grafton to NRG’s Avon Lake power plant.
County Administrator Jim Cordes said the commissioners, like other landowners whose properties the controversial pipeline will run beneath, had no choice but to agree to the lease. He said NRG initially was reluctant to pay any money to a public entity for the easement, but ultimately agreed to pay a standard rate.
Cordes said the line will pass 40 to 50 feet beneath Butternut Ridge Road and that the abutting land is effectively swamp land that can’t be otherwise developed.
The commissioners approved the easement during a meeting Wednesday.
The 255-mile proposed NEXUS Gas Transmission project will run through 11 Ohio counties before hearing into Michigan and Canada. NRG is among the customers along the way who will potentially draw gas from the pipeline for their own uses.
The 20-mile spur up to Avon Lake, which already has been approved by the state, would be used to convert the coal-burning power plant to natural gas at some future date.
The NEXUS project has drawn protests from property owners along its route and citizens groups, including landowners who NEXUS had to take to court in order to gain access to their properties to conduct surveying work.