A room overflowing with supervisory management packed a meeting held by Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) East Friday morning at the Walden Inn Conference Center.
REX Managers from all over converged on the grounds of the Inn to gather information about the huge natural gas pipeline project that encompasses 638 miles from Audrain County, Mo to Monroe County, Ohio and cuts through Putnam County.
These men and women, along with about 300 construction workers, will be living, eating and shopping in Putnam County for at least the next three months.
Many of the workers need apartments, hotel rooms or other living accommodations. REX officials are asking that anyone with available accommodations contact the Cloverdale Contractor Yard Manager Drew Johnson at (765) 795-2310.
Target date for partial completion of the Putnam County portion of the pipeline construction is December 2008 with full service in summer 2009.
Earlier this summer, motorists along S.R. 231 and S.R. 36 could see the piles of pipeline being stacked in preparation for construction. Work has also begun on substation being built near Bainbridge on CR 25 W (Shortcut Rd.).
During the supervisor's meeting Friday morning Public Affairs Director Allen Fore explained what the pipeline means to the country and why it is important.
"We have a good story to tell. One that is very important to our country and I am happy to tell you," said Fore.
Among the benefits over the long and short term is the increased property tax that REX-East will pay for the pipeline and compressor stations. States also receive revenue from sales and use taxes during the construction.
New employment opportunities for local residents during both the construction and operation phases of the project may be available.
Once construction begins, restaurants, hotels, motels and retailers should experience increased activity from the construction crews.
"Overall," said Fore, "local economic development efforts could be enhanced by having the opportunity to access a reliable source of natural gas."
When the project is complete, the 42 inch-diameter steel pipeline system will carry between 1.5 billion and 2.0 billion cubic feet of gas per day from the supply rich areas of Colorado and Wyoming to natural gas markets in the Midwest and Eastern United States.
REX officials plan to give an update of the project at the Putnam County Commissioners meeting Monday, August 18 at 6 p.m. at the County Annex.
Information about the REX pipeline can be accessed online at www.rexpipeline.com