TEWKSBURY -- Tewksbury selectmen are opting not to pursue a cease-and-desist order against Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, an action that they had discussed after meeting with the company regarding a proposed natural-gas pipeline last month.

Selectmen Chairman Todd Johnson said the board felt that pursuing a cease-and-desist order would be overly aggressive while officials are still in an information-gathering phase.

"We're trying to be open-minded and get as much information as possible for our residents," Johnson said after Tuesday night's Board of Selectmen meeting.

Selectmen have not yet taken a stance on the project, which would run a natural-gas pipeline from Wright, N.Y. to Dracut to meet what Kinder Morgan representatives say is a need for energy in New England.

Tewksbury representatives have attended meetings for a coalition of Middlesex County towns that would be impacted by the pipeline if it follows its proposed route through the northern part of Massachusetts.

Selectman Scott Wilson, who has attended two meetings of that coalition, said that the group developed a mission statement focused on information gathering rather than opposition to the project.

"If the pipeline is coming, then let's figure out the best way for that to come and where it should be and how that can be the least impactful to residents and everyone's constituents," Wilson said, describing the coalition's goals.


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Kinder Morgan is beginning surveys this week on land owned by Tewksbury homeowners who have granted the company permission. They had requested to survey some town-owned land, said Town Manager Richard Montuori, but the town has not granted permission.

About 60 Tewksbury homeowners would be affected if the route being considered goes forward, he said.

In other business, selectmen announced that the town is receiving a $161,000 grant under the Green Communities program to pay for efficient lighting outside of several town buildings.

"We gave a lot of thought to where we felt we could have the most impact and be successful in obtaining the grant," Johnson said.

The buildings affected include Town Hall, the Senior Center, the fire station, two Department of Public Works buildings and five schools.

"We do have some inefficient exterior lights at the schools, DPW and other buildings. This will go a long way in saving us money and making us more efficient," Montuori said.

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