September 18, 2008

Beulah council will look at natural gas franchise

By Ken Beauchamp
After some discussion about whether a proposed letter of intent was simply that or a memorandum of understanding, the Beulah City Council voted to draft its own letter of response to parties interested in bringing natural gas to the city.
The city had received a document from Travois Pipeline, LLC and Knife River Gas, LLC in which the two parties asked the city to “note their willingness to grant a natural gas franchise should the project become feasible.” The document also included language asking the city to sign off at this time intending to give Knife River, LLC a natural gas franchise pending a city review of a finalized franchise request. The action would also require an ordinance passed by the city via the usual ordinance process to become final.
Councilman Roger Gazur raised the question regarding the nature of the document declared by the two natural gas firms as a letter of intent. Gazur said that based on his 35 years of experience in industry business it read as a memorandum of agreement and not a letter of intent.
Gazur moved to have the letter reworded prior to signing by the city. After discussion, mainly in support of the natural gas request, his motion was amended to approve having the city attorney draft the city’s own letter in response, inviting further talks with the two parties.
Strongest support from the council came from Councilman Larry Walker, who commented that the city residents had been “held hostage” for 25 years by the propane industry. Walker noted he would be the first person to sign up for natural gas if it were made available. His support was echoed by Councilman Robert Moos who said some people in town that he talked to were “pretty excited” about the prospects of having natural gas.


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