Mercer County residents on edge over gas pipe - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Mercer County residents on edge over gas pipe

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MERCER COUNTY, WV (WVVA) -

In most cases... buying property means that you have purchased privacy and freedom. But some property owners in Mercer County feel like those rights are being infringed upon. 

"I own the property, but I don't own the property. I am dictated about what I can do," said Jeff McPhearson, a Mercer County resident. 

The residents are growing concerned over a change in ownership of a gas line that runs through their neighborhood. 

"I had a knock at my door approximately the second or third week in January from two gentlemen claiming to be from TransCanada, which used to be Columbia gas, they handed me a card and a pamphlet saying that they were going to clear the right of way," said Michael Fralick, a concerned resident. 

TransCanada says that the right of way would extend out to 50 ft., or 25 ft. on each side, which could impact buildings and homes.

"With them wanting to extend their right of way, it would take out the corner of my house by about eight foot, they would take out these two buildings and all these trees," Fralick said. 

The Mercer County Commissioners Office isn't involved in this matter, meaning that residents like Michael Fralick have no other option but to seek legal representation in court.  

"Yeah, I'm gonna stand up for the rights that I think I have, which I think are a lot," Fralick said. 

With TransCanada saying that they've got the right of way with the pipeline and residents claiming they've got personal property rights of their own, this issue could be far from over. 

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