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Safety repair work on pipeline affecting homes & businesses

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

The marker for the 17th hole at the Southwind Golf Course, in Clark County, warns of the water hazard but does not warn golfers of the massive pipeline ahead. This is just one of eight holes closed on the course because of the massive repair work being done to the oil pipeline owned by Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and it's affecting business.

"It's blocking off a lot of the holes that we usually use. So, we're going from number one to number ten, it's just kind of inconsistent on where the holes are at," described golfer, John Muncie.

"Right when they started digging, a lot of people didn't know that we were open, and now the one's that do know don't want to come try it out if it's nine holes. So, we've lost some business," expressed Blake Todd, whose family owns the course.

The line runs from Boyd County, through Central Kentucky, and on to Owensboro. It's also the same pipeline that caused a massive oil spill in January of 2000. Back then and even now, it's causing the course trouble.

"It tore up one of our greens completely, number five, and it's been in rough shape ever since then," explained Todd.

However, it's not just the golf course that's been affected by the digging. Many residents are seeing the work being done just yards from their own back porch.

"Yeah, that's going to be a nuisance because they're digging closer to my house," said Betty Byrne.

In a statement from Marathon Petroleum Corporation:
"The work we are doing on it now is part of our ongoing program to ensure that our pipelines are as safe as possible."

It goes on to explain that this work will replace segments of the pipeline and to address issues before they become problems.

For Byrne, she says she appreciates the fact that the work will make the line safer, but that doesn't make it any easier to watch her land be torn up.

"The only thing that's really bothered me, this time, is they cut a tree down that my (late) husband and I planted 20 years ago, the first month we were here," adding, "I'll be glad when it (the work) is over."

The work may last for a while, which means Byrne will have to sit and watch and the golf course will continue to be limited.

"I don't think that anybody will be playing much golf this year," speculated Muncie.

The Southwind Golf Course expects the work to end in a month or so, but they say it's likely they won't be fully open until next spring.

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