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County to sue pipeline services company Strike

Rowan Fiscal Court on Tuesday authorized County Attorney Cecil Watkins to file a lawsuit against Strike, LLC, for failure to pay occupational taxes.

Strike, a Texas-based pipeline construction and energy services company, has been working at the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) Compressor Station 110 since around April.

TGP is a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, Inc., the largest energy infrastructure company in North America.

Melissa Ruiz, corporate communications manager for Kinder Morgan, said the work Strike is doing is part of the Broad Run Expansion Project.

“Strike is working on making the compressor station bi-directional, so that when the work is completed, the compressor station will be able to operate and compress natural gas in either direction,” said Ruiz.

Although that pipeline has run from south to north for decades, Richard N. Wheatley, director of corporate communications and public affairs for Kinder Morgan, said projects for new customers that contracted to move natural gas to the Gulf Coast necessitated the change in flow direction for certain segments of the TGP system.

According to the company’s website:

“The over $400 million project is expected to generate approximately 400 construction jobs at its peak. The economic impact of construction for the project would be significant as workers will reside locally and rely upon local businesses, housing and support services during the construction period. The estimated annual revenue to state and local taxing bodies will be nearly $5 million following completion of the project.”

In related news, Group rallies against pipeline in Keene.

However, Rowan County is yet to feel a large part of that promised economic impact.

Strike only applied for a business license in Rowan County about a month ago after Watkins told company representatives that Rowan Fiscal Court would likely authorize him to take legal action if they didn’t comply.

This came after several other requests to Strike had been made and apparently disregarded.

According to Joan Becraft, the county’s finance officer, Strike hasn’t paid anything toward their payroll tax for the second quarter, which ended in July.

Strike representatives were unavailable for comment Tuesday afternoon.

This article was written by Larry DeHart from The Morehead News, Ky. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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