By Alicia Neaves
ALPINE - Alpine residents gathered at the busiest intersection in town Friday afternoon to protest against the natural gas pipeline that just broke ground.
Their message is clear: "Not in our Big Bend."
For some residents in the Big Bend, questions about this new natural gas pipeline remain unanswered. Especially for residents who live off of Sunny Glen, this issue hits close to home, literally.
"They never contacted me. They just issued the map and said, 'This is what we've proposed,'" said Alpine resident, Audrey Painter.
Painter is one of many who protested on Friday morning off 5th Street and Holland. The gas pipeline construction is going straight through her property.
She is at that same intersection every Friday at noon, fighting for Alpine. The proposed route for the Trans Pecos pipeline will run from Waha, through Alpine, to Presidio.
Energy Transfer Partners won the contract.
Pat McMahon lives in the Sunny Glen subdivision. She says the pipeline construction came as an unpleasant surprise.
"With no warning at all, they started construction on that. They've also built a big reservoir tank at the back end. We don't have a lot of water in this community, so we're concerned about that also," said McMahon.
For other protesters, their goal is simple. To preserve their environment and the beauty of the Big Bend.
"Nobody here wants this to be Pecos or Midland. We like it like this," said Alpine resident, Dorothy Muratori.
"This is the last frontier," said resident Sarah Kennedy Mele, who is against the gas pipeline.
"If you moved here to get away from stuff, where are you gonna go now if they come here?" asked Muratori.
As elections approach Saturday, with three candidates for Alpine City Council Ward 1, before voters cast their ballot, many are asking the question first: What's your view on the pipeline?
At the moment, all three are against it.
"Being transparent in what's going on. There's a lot of misinformation, or disinformation, going out there, so you don't know what the truth is," said candidate for Alpine City Council Ward 1, Anita DeVries.
"We've been given several alternate routes. Some that come very close to the city. Others that aren't anywhere near here. We need answers," said candidate for Alpine City Council Ward 1, Nancy Antrim.
"Usually these things develop and safety issues are a principal concern to most of us here and we're dead set against it," said candidate for Alpine City Council Ward 1, Manfred Fritsche.
Representatives from Energy Transfer Partners will be at the commissioner's court meeting in Marfa next Tuesday, May 12 at 9 a.m.