Saline County official sweet on Flanagan South's tax benefits

Enbridge's Great Lakes to Gulf Coast series (Part 10)

Missouri, of course, is the Show-Me State. Monte Fenner feels he witnessed an economic windfall – one that will benefit his community in perpetuity.

Fenner is the associate commissioner of Saline County, Mo., where pipeliners from Enbridge and trusted contractor Michels laid down nearly 18 miles’ worth of the Flanagan South line from mid-2013 through mid-2014. Like other communities along the Flanagan South right-of-way, the county of 26,000 reaped the benefits of an estimated 600 to 700 pipeliners putting down temporary roots in the region while the 36-inch pipeline was built.

“This county hasn’t experienced a situation like that, in my recollection. We’ve had road improvements coming through, but those crews were here for the short term,” says Fenner, who works in Marshall, Mo., the county seat, which has a population of about 13,000.

“We were very pleased with the economic benefits that the project created here,” he adds. “And we’re looking forward to the tax revenue that we’ll see from the pipeline in the future, which is going to make an impact on our schools.”

The Flanagan South line, which went into service Dec. 2, now has the capacity to carry about 585,000 barrels of North American crude oil per day, 593 miles from Pontiac, Ill., to Cushing, Okla.

Together, the recent opening of Enbridge’s $2.8-billion Flanagan South pipeline and the twinning of the Seaway Pipeline represent North America’s first large-volume, full-path solution for safely and reliably delivering Western Canadian crude to the heavy-oil-hungry refining market in the Houston area.

The Flanagan South project created more than 1,800 temporary jobs across Missouri, including pipeline and facility activity, with 40 to 50 per cent of those workers hired locally from union halls. Missouri collected $24.6-million in state taxes from Enbridge during the life of the project, and annual state property taxes in Missouri for Flanagan South will be in the neighborhood of $8.7-million.

Indirect economic impact from the visiting Enbridge contingent included widespread purchase of goods and services, both on a personal and company level – including groceries, restaurant meals, accommodation, gas, equipment rental and repair, hardware, and tools.

“We were very pleased to work with Enbridge – with all of our dealings with your company. You folks were great to work with,” says Fenner.

Safety and operational reliability are our No. 1 priority at Enbridge, and the Flanagan South project achieved an enviable safety record during construction of the 593-mile line.

Through more than 12 million hours committed to the project, the Flanagan South team turned in a Total Recordable Incident Frequency (TRIF) rate of 0.61 – an exemplary number. The TRIF standard, which measures the rate of recordable workplace injuries and other occupational incidents, is used in virtually all industries; a TRIF rate of 2.5 or lower is considered to be good, and 1.5 or lower to be excellent.

More than 79,000 Field Level Hazard Assessments (FLHAs) – the so-called “last looks” for potential hazards before the day’s work begins – were carried out by Flanagan South crews, while more than 26,500 safety observations were made.