Citizens' group: Compressor reduced property values

| 13 Aug 2015 | 02:25

    FREMONT CENTER, N.Y. — Homeowners living near the Millennium Pipeline Company’s 15,000-horsepower compressor station on Hungry Hill Road in Hancock, N.Y., have seen the value of their homes decline by as much as 50 percent since the industrial facility was constructed in the midst of what used to be a quiet, rural community, according to the Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.

    In May 2014 several Hungry Hill residents sought real estate tax relief citing the adverse impact of the compressor station on their property values. The Town of Hancock denied the tax grievances, but Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy subsequently offered to fund homeowner appeals. At small claims hearings held in Hancock last August, two homeowners, a real estate appraiser and a representative of Catskill Citizens, testified that the compressor station was responsible for heavy truck traffic, noxious odors, persistent low-level vibrations, and air contamination. The witnesses also said the facility was a safety threat, recounting how a Millennium employee suddenly knocked on the door of a house late one evening and urged the family to quickly evacuate their home.

    Finally, it was alleged that blasting during the construction of the compressor station had cracked the foundation of one house, which in turn led to an unsafe spike of radon levels. Pre and post-construction radon tests conducted by Professional Home Inspection Service of Binghamton, N.Y., showed that radon levels in the home more than doubled, exceeding the federal recommended action guideline.

    Hancock tax assessors agreed to decrease the assessed valuation and real estate taxes on two homes by 25 percent. The assessed valuation and taxes on a third home, the one that had been physically damaged, were cut by 50 percent.

    “I wouldn’t want to live next to it," said Hearing Officer John Creech, who presided over the settlement.

    For more information email the Catskill Citizens at or call 845-468-7063.