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Pipeline questions invited

SunShine Pipeline Co. officials will meet with residents Thursday to answer questions about their revised plan to run a natural gas line through densely populated southwest Pasco.

Company representatives will hold an open house at the Veterans Village Activity Center on Seven Springs Boulevard from 4 to 7 p.m. Aerial photographs will be available for viewing, and company officials will discuss the route, safety issues and how SunShine negotiates and purchases easements on property owners' land.

The 545-mile pipeline is expected to deliver natural gas to several places in Florida, including Florida Power's Anclote power plant. Initially the company planned to run a 20-inch-diameter line from northeast Pasco to the power plant, dipping into Pinellas County through the Trinity Communities development.

The company now wants to avoid Pinellas County altogether. Instead, the line will follow a former railroad bed through most of the county and then, near Tampa Bay Executive Airport in Odessa, follow a power line corridor west to Anclote.

The company said the original route might have interfered with a stretch of the Bi-County Expressway under construction in Trinity and probably faced construction problems posed by Salt Lake in northern Pinellas.

The new route brings the line closer to developments such as Veterans Village, Colonial Hills and Aloha Gardens, prompting concerns from residents in that area. SunShine's open house was scheduled in part to respond to the questions and concerns from people in that area.

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