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Renville County approves tax settlement with Alliance Pipeline

OLIVIA — As was expected, the Renville County Board of Commissioners approved a state-negotiated settlement that will refund taxes to Alliance Pipeline.

The commissioners approved an agreement at their meeting on Tuesday that requires the county, two school districts and five townships to refund an estimated $195,110 in taxes to Alliance Pipeline, according to information from County Administrator Sara Folsted.

The state of Minnesota will also refund $143,820 collected for the Renville County portion of the natural gas pipeline, making the total estimated cost of the settlement $338,930 in Renville County.

The estimated losses for the BOLD and Buffalo Lake-Hector school districts are $40,027.30 and $10,702.67, respectively. Townships affected by the settlement include Hector, Kingman, Martinsburg, Melville and Osceola.

The settlement reduces the assessed valuation of the pipeline company’s property by 9.25 percent in each of the last four years.

The commissioners had indicated they felt there was little option but to approve the settlement. The state of Minnesota had indicated it was going to approve the settlement, and that counties who decided not to follow suit would have to litigate the matter with the company on their own.

The pipeline carries natural gas from western Canada to Chicago and cuts through 13 Minnesota counties.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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