PEPPERELL-- Sen. Eileen Donoghue brought a sweet treat when she visited the Pepperell Senior Center ona recent Wednesday.
Donoghue visits the towns she represents every summer. She said she likes to provide a cook-out or bring ice cream to the centers she visits.
She has been to senior centers in Westford, Tyngsboro, Dunstable, and will visit Groton in September.
"It gives me an opportunity to meet people and have a casual conversation about any high pressure situation," said Donoghue. "I like to keep the line of communication open with people."
Donoghue told the crowd of about 100 seniors that they did not have to worry about calories that day because she had brought low-calorie ice cream.
The crowd laughed and applauded.
"I find it is always better to reach out to constituents in person about certain issues," said Donoghue.
In addressing the pipeline Kinder Morgan proposed to build through Pepperell and nearby towns, Donoghue said she opposed the plan.
"It's a battle and it's one we have pledged to fight for the community," she said.
Christina Budd, senior center volunteer, owns a house on the proposed route. She asked the senator what people can do to prevent Kinder Morgan from building the pipeline through Pepperell.
"I think it's important to advise political agencies and let agencies like FERC know you don't want it here," said Donoghue "We will tell you when and where to show up and speak up.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also known as FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, oil and natural gas.
Someone in the crowd called out, "And they are making us pay a tariff."
"Taxpayers will pay for a pipeline they don't want or need in their electricity bill," Donoghue answered.
Donoghue said that she has met with Kinder Morgan representatives to learn about the project and was told that they are exploring other route options such as using public routes instead of private property.
Kinder Morgan representatives have told her that they plan to file a pre-application with FERC, she said. "We have to wait and see what steps they take."
Resident Carol Murdock said, "It was really excellent that she came today. I am glad she is really on top of things and I'm glad she is against the pipeline."
After the ice cream social, seniors moved to the center's backyard for game day. Local teen volunteers had organized a variety of games for the seniors to play.
There were horseshoes, golf, bean bag toss and water balloons.
"It's nice to see them get out and do something outside," said volunteer Charles Cummings, 16.