Donate to the Protect Geprags Park legal fund!
All donations are tax-deductible and are handled by Vermont's Peace & Justice Center, a 501(c)3 organization. Donate using the PayPal link below, or mail a check to: Peace & Justice Center, 60 Lake Street, Suite 1C, Burlington, VT 05401 with "Geprags" in the memo line.
Hinesburg's Geprags Park and the Vermont Gas Pipeline
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 to Geprags Park, the lands of which were donated to the Town in 1991, the use of this land is restricted to specific public purposes. Therefore, despite the agreement between the Town and Vermont Gas, Vermont Gas is invoking eminent domain to attempt to overcome the covenant and secure the easement.
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 during a meeting of the Hinesburg Selectboard. Some Hinesburg residents quickly organized to put up a fight to protect Geprags Park. Over the next two days, a few Hinesburg residents submitted requests to the Public Service Board to extend the legal deadlines in order to allow for more participation. In an empowering turn of events, the Public Service Board listened to these requests and extended the deadlines, though the schedule remains tight.
Since then, 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. Some Hinesburg residents have already applied to be intervenors in the docket - that is, to have an official seat at the table for these proceedings.
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, and you can start right now by calling your neighbors, sharing this website with folks, and asking questions at Town Meeting.
Making the case to protect Hinesburg and Geprags Park
Read attorney James Dumont's letter to the Hinesburg Conservation Commission making the case that the current stipulation between the Town and Vermont Gas is not the best option for the Town and Geprags Park.
Map of proposed pipeline through Geprags Park
Calendar of Meetings and Deadlines
Timeline and Relevant Documents
Click here to read all filings in Vermont Public Service Board, Docket 8643.
- March 24, 2016
- PSB Hearing Officer denies all Motions to Intervene by the Hinesburg Conservation Commission and some Hinesburg residents.
- March 21, 2016
- Hinesburg Selectboard votes 3-2 to not ratify their potential agreement with Vermont Gas.
- March 4, 2016
- Deadline to file Responses to Motions to Intervene
- February 26, 2016
- Deadline to file Motions to Intervene
- February 19, 2016
- Citing the requests of Hinesburg residents, the PSB extends the docket schedule.
- Prehearing Conference Memorandum and Scheduling Order
- February 18, 2016
- Three more residents of Hinesburg jointly file a Motion to Intervene.
- Several residents of Hinesburg send requests to the PSB to extend the deadline for motions to intervene.
- February 17, 2016
- A Hinesburg resident files a Motion to Intervene.
- The Hinesburg Energy Committee passes a motion that "opposes granting an easement to Vermont Gas Systems for a gas pipeline to run through Geprags Park."
- February 16, 2016
- The Town of Hinesburg publicly releases the 2014 proposed agreement between the Town of Hinesburg and Vermont Gas.
- February 11, 2016
- Prehearing Conference - Read the official transcript.
- January 15, 2016
- November 25, 2015
- Sometime in 2014