JONES CREEK — More than 20 residents filed a civil lawsuit against the village and Praxair Inc., alleging they do not have the proper permissions to install a hydrogen pipeline under Primrose Lane.
The Jones Creek Board of Aldermen approved the construction of the approximately 3,600-foot long pipeline at a meeting in July, agreeing to receive $275,000 from the company in exchange.
The board unanimously voted to approve the agreement and earmark the funds for drainage improvements, according to meeting documents.
Engineering contractors from Wood PLC representing Praxair at that July meeting said there will be no effect to Primrose Road at any time. Construction and future repairs will be done underground, said Daniel Stringer, an agent with Wood PLC.
In late September, Primrose resident Marcy Krampota distributed papers to the village council and representatives from Praxair and Wood Group, alleging installation of the pipeline is not allowed.
Her research indicated Primrose used to be CR 246 and the county only allowed the road to be used for road or utility purposes, she said, and that should not have changed when the road became part of Jones Creek, because the city has to abide by the original deed.
At that meeting, Mayor Gordon Schlemmer said the pipeline should be very safe, according to his research, and the involved companies have agreed to go above and beyond safety requirements.
An original petition filed Nov. 13 in the 239th District Court names 23 residents of Primrose Lane/Drive within the Peachcrest Homesites subdivision as plaintiffs. They are represented by West Columbia attorney Wes Griggs, who shared the petition with The Facts.
The petition alleges a Brazoria County plat record includes a document created and defined that subdivision in 1946, stating “we hereby dedicate to the public the use of the roads as shown thereon for road purposes only.” Primrose is labeled “County Road” in the document, runs east to west and is the northernmost road in the subdivision, the petition states.
The lawsuit also alleges residents were not given sufficient notice of the project, constituting an open meetings violation. The council meeting agenda for July 16 included an item to “discuss and consider right of way agreement with Praxair, Inc.”
That notice failed to disclose the type of right of way, location of right of way, involvement of a hydrogen pipeline and the board’s intention to approve the agreement, the petition states.
After Krampota, who is a plaintiff along with her husband Daniel Krampota, delivered a letter from Griggs asking council to terminate the right of way agreement with Praxair at its September meeting, council discussed the agreement during a closed session Oct. 17, according to the petition. After that closed session, the board took no action, the lawsuit states.
The pipeline installation would threaten the plaintiffs’ safety and well-being, reduce their property value and deprive them of unrestricted use and ownership of their property, which has immeasurable value, the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs seek a permanent injunction enjoining Jones Creek and Praxair from installing any pipeline, along with attorney fees.
Village Secretary Kimberly Morris deferred questions to attorney Scott Bounds, who is representing Jones Creek in the lawsuit. Bounds said a hearing on a temporary injunction has been postponed until Jan. 9 so “everyone can evaluate the situation.”
He declined to comment further and said he did not wish to speculate. Praxair is represented by attorney Chris Johnson, who did not respond to a message left with his law firm last week.