Enbridge Pays City of Mellen $1.5 Million for Land to be Used in Line 5 Reroute

If Line 5 reroute construction happens, Enbridge will pay city additional $3.25 million

MELLEN, Wis. – Enbridge is rerouting part if its Line 5 pipeline around the Bad River Reservation.

Line 5 is now designed to pass through Mellen, Wisconsin.

On March 3rd, a deal was finalized between the city of Mellen and Enbridge allowing the pipeline to be built underneath a piece of land just north of the city.

Enbridge presented a $1.5 million check to the Mellen City Council in exchange for five acres of land under which the company can run the new stretch of Line 5.

$500,000 of that money will be paid to Ashland County, the remaining $1 million will be used by the city for a lot of community needs including transportation, water treatment, and school safety.

If Enbridge actually builds the new portion of Line 5, the energy company will pay Mellen an additional $3.25 million.

“There’s a lot of people that are anti-pipeline. But if you look at every situation, and you have to look at every situation, Enbridge is a God’s blessing to us. Without it, I don’t know how we would make it the next couple years. We wouldn’t be able to pay our bills, that’s for sure. We’d have to lay off people,” explained Mellen Mayor Joe Barabe.

Barabe tells us he’s not concerned with having the pipeline within city limits.

Line 5 now runs through the Bad River Reservation. It’s being rerouted to avoid lawsuits filed by the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, which want to move the pipeline away from its land and its watershed.

Line 5 carries about 540,000 barrels of crude oil, light crude oils, and natural gas liquids.

“What’s important for this area are the natural gas liquids in the line. That’s what’s refined and turned into propane. As we know, many of us here in Northern Wisconsin and the UP, we rely on that propane to heat our homes, feed our businesses, you name it,” explained Jennifer Smith, director for community engagement for Enbridge.

If Enbridge moves forward with the Line 5 reroute and is granted the necessary permits, the company hopes to build the new portion of the line in 2021.

Enbridge officials expect the construction process to create about 700 temporary jobs in the area.

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