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Installation of Pipeline on Private Road Damages Property

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A man blames a gas company for damaging his property while putting a pipeline in the wrong location.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Camdenton resident Michael Stark says on June 19 of last year, he noticed something out of the ordinary on his private road.

"They said we're putting in a gas line," said Stark. "I said you shouldn't be here, this is not your land you have no authorization to be here."

Stark says Summit Natural Gas Company did not present any documentation at the time, even upon his request.

Days after a pipeline was installed, Stark says he met with a supervisor at the gas company to demand an answer.

"He showed me a map had photocopied off of county records. I said, well, it doesn't matter what that says. It's my road," he said. "No utilities easement on the property."

The gas line was then moved to the county road about 20 feet away.

Eight months later and the gas pipeline that was installed still exists. It starts at the top of this hill and extends 1000 feet down Stark's road.  Rain from last fall and severe winter weather have worsened the pipeline side of the road.

"The rain rushing down the hill ate the trenches, ate underneath," he said.

Stark says Summit has offered to remove the pipe, but he's worried about more damage.

They have not given me any indication that after fixing, after pulling their pipeline out, that they will repair the road to its condition prior to them putting in the gas line," he said.

Stark has filed a claim against Summit Natural Gas Company. We reached out for comment-- and were told it's not Summit's policy to comment on pending litigation, but that the company is "very committed to and works very hard to resolve any landowner or customer issues."

Stark estimates the cost of removing the pipeline and repairing the road to be about five thousand dollars, but wants more than just the cash-value of the fix.

"I want them to pay me for what I'm entitled to be paid for here. They trespassed on my property, they damaged my property," he said. "They need to take care of it."

Stark has reached out to State Representative Diane Franklin for help. Franklin's office says it has not received other calls regarding similar issues, but it has forwarded Stark's concerns to the Public Service Commission.


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