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Town of Manheim residents call proposed filling station a 'ticking time bomb'

By ANNA MEILER

TOWN OF MANHEIM, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Peace and quiet are two things you'll find in the rural Town of Manheim, but residents fear that's about to change.

Xpress Natural Gas is seeking a project permit to build a station on 6.5 acres along Route 167 that will draw gas from the Iroquois Pipeline, compress the gas and then fill trucks to be delivered to places like hospitals, colleges and prisons. Up to 45 trucks will fill up at the station every day.

The state Department of Transportation says they don't envision this causing highway deterioration, but residents say they don't want to deal with the traffic, noise and potential for more accidents. Residents also fear the potential for harming the environment or a worse case scenario: the possibility of gas leaks and explosions.

The Dolgeville Fire Hall filled with residents in an uproar Monday night- some even in tears, as they told the Town of Manheim planning board they don't want this project to move forward.

"This is something that no person should have to deal with. Now I have to worry about leaving for work and the possibility of it being the last time I see my husband, my animals and not having a home to come back to. I work 45 miles away. If something happens and I get a call at work I now have to drive 45 minutes home to find that I have nothing. You guys are jeopardizing my future and my safety. I don't want to raise kids in this community if I have to live across from a ticking time bomb," said Jessica Wilkes.

These public comments will be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to approve the permit.

A representative from XNG was at the meeting, but we weren't able to talk to him because the meeting was still underway.

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