2014 Easement

In 2014, the Hinesburg Selectboard reached an agreement with Vermont Gas for an easement through Geprags Park for the Addison Natural Gas Project pipeline. Due to a covenant on the deed that transferred the land to the town, the use of this land is restricted to educational and recreational purposes only, not pipelines. Vermont Gas wants to use eminent domain to claim an easement for their fracked gas pipeline. 

The eminent domain legal process against Geprags Park is currently before the Vermont Public Service Board in Docket 8643. Details of this issue did not come to light until February 15, 2016 when a previously unrevealed, and very weak agreement between the town and Vermont Gas came to light. They first requested an extension of the deadlines for intervention, then filed an open meeting law violation complaint against the town select board that resulted in nullification of their agreement (they are currently renegotiating). A group of residents had succeeded in getting standing to intervene in the case at the public service board. There is strong legal precedent indicating Vermont Gas cannot claim an easement on public park lands. We can win this, we can stop the pipeline going through Geprags, and help prevent the continued construction through Vermont. 

More and more Hinesburg residents are becoming aware of the need to protect the park. Time is of the essence as Vermont Gas wants to conclude this case before it gets out of their control.   In addition to the legal strategy, raising awareness among Hinesburg residents will be a key factor in protecting Geprags Park. There are countless creative ways to get the word out to friends and neighbors. You can start right now by calling your neighbors, sharing this website with friends, attending and asking questions at select board meetings, and joining the "Protect Geprags" citizen group. 

Further Reading:

Vegetation, Habitat, Maintenance Plan 

Draft Deed of Easement

Draft Stipulation Agreement