MONKTON, Vt. (AP) — Four homeowners in the Vermont town of Monkton say Vermont Gas Systems has told them it will use eminent domain to build a pipeline through their properties if negotiations for an easement fail.

The homeowners say they worry a pipeline would reduce drastically the values of their homes and present a safety risk.

The Burlington Free Press reports Vermont Gas spokesman Steve Wark confirmed the company has sent eminent-domain letters to nine Monkton homeowners. If the eminent-domain process goes forward, the state Public Service Board would decide the amount of compensation homeowners receive for easements for the pipeline across their properties.

Vermont Gas received approval late last year from the board for the first phase of its gas pipeline expansion into Addison County.

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