Enbridge gives $45K to Boyle first responders for pipeline explosion response

Published 5:09 pm Wednesday, November 27, 2019



Enbridge has given $45,000 to Boyle County emergency response agencies for the services they provided following the Aug. 1 pipeline explosion in Moreland.

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But the way that $45,000 was divvied up by Judge-Executive Howard Hunt surprised Sheriff Derek Robbins and members of the county’s Sheriff Committee Tuesday morning.

Robbins had been expecting to get $15,000.

“That’s what Enbridge told us we were getting,” Robbins said. 

But Hunt allocated $10,000 of the $45,000 to the sheriff’s office. Boyle County EMS and Boyle County Emergency Management also received $10,000 each; the Boyle County Fire Department received $15,000.

When the Sheriff’s Committee met early Tuesday morning, they discussed how the sheriff planned to use the $15,000. But at the Boyle County Fiscal Court meeting later in the morning, they learned they would be getting the smaller amount.

Robbins and Boyle County Magistrate Jason Cullen pointed out the fire department is not a Boyle County governmental department like the other three agencies; it is a special taxing district. Hunt said the county received Enbridge’s check, but the money was designated by Enbridge to go to all four organizations.

“One thought was — and it may be wrong — but one thought was there were other revenues obtained by the sheriff’s department individually during this time” of the pipeline explosion, Hunt said.

Hunt offered to table approval of transfers and reexamine how he allocated the funds, but that didn’t wind up being necessary.

Magistrate Phil Sammons said Hunt has the discretion to distribute funds like these how he sees fit.

“In your position, I feel like you have the authority to do that,” he said.

Robbins said his budget will be OK with the smaller amount. The $15,000 made him feel “more comfortable” about purchasing 10 new guns for court security, but getting the full amount wasn’t a prerequisite to buying the guns, he said.

Robbins said he wants to be a team player.

“I’m fine with it,” he said.

Enbridge owns the Texas Eastern Pipeline, which exploded in the early morning hours of Aug. 1. The explosion killed one person.