The Fayette Citizen-News Page

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Williams postpones again ... indefinitely


The giant energy company that wants to build a giant power plant in Fayette's backyard has decided to reevaluate the "timing" on building the plant.

Fayette County Commission Chairman Greg Dunn, who has been at the forefront of local efforts to stop construction of the plant, treated the announcement this week as a victory, at least for now.

"It looks like the voices of the people are being heard," he said, though he added, "we'll have to keep watching."

Williams Company spokesman Paula Hall-Collins said the company is looking at the present state of the national economy and deciding whether the 1,230-megawatt plant is what the company needs in the future.

"We are not cancelling our efforts to develop a power facility in Fulton County, but want to take additional time to further review the market and capacity requirements at this location," said Rich Ficken, director of power development for Williams.

Hall-Collins said the company will table its request for rezoning the property with the Fulton County Commission. Action on the petition was set for next March following several previous postponements.

She explained that the company's option on the property is good through February, but Williams has an option on the option that lasts six more months.

"We have until the middle of 2002 to evaluate the site," she said.

The company had just completed another round of studies for the site on Peters Road and was getting ready to conduct another series of meetings with the community.

Hall-Collins said meetings could still take place if the community leaders want to meet with the company.

The company had been making efforts to try and head off some of the residents' concerns, such as moving the footprint of the building so it would not disturb a family cemetery on the site.

"Williams recognizes that efforts to develop a project of this kind require a public-private partnership and the company will continue to work with local elected officials and the community in order to create a development that will meet the community concerns and need for power," said Ficken.

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