Paris, TX Prospers from Pipeline Project - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Paris, TX Prospers from Pipeline Project

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LAMAR COUNTY, TX -- After protests on the local and national level And even lawsuits on property rights, the construction of TransCanada's controversial pipeline project in Lamar County has officially started. Just weeks in and locals say the project is having a positive effect on one small Texas town.

Vacant buildings, For rent and For sale signs, business owners in Paris, Texas say they're struggling bring in the revenue they need to stay open.

"Summer is slow," says Mary Bagnes of Mary Bagnes Antiques.

Bagnes says locals usually don't browse her shop unless it's during the holidays. Year round, she relies on visitors to sell her inventory.

"Most of our buyers are from out of town. We try to keep a variety that you won't find in other shops," says Bagnes.

Lucky for her, there's 600 new people setting up house in the area. Workers installing the pipeline for TransCanada's Gulf Coast Project have started clearing and marking land for the pipes.

"And we've had some of the wives in, looking around," says Bagnes.

County Judge Chuck Superville says the economic impact hundreds of people can have on a small community like Paris is huge.

"When the construction workers come through there will be a flurry of economic activity, when they fill up the restaurants and hotels and stores. Secondly the vendors here like the fuel vendors, the parts, will do a pretty good business as the construction workers come through," says Judge Superville.

This is the first oil pipeline to go through the county. Although there have been some protests against this project both from environmentalists and land owners, Judge Superville says the majority of the residents in the county approve of it.

"The general response is that pipelines are a part of progress. It's part of America's energy solution," says Judge Superville.

Officials with TransCanada say the pipes will be laid in a matter of weeks. The portion of the pipeline in Lamar County is expected to be complete by 2013.