The Beacon News

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March 12, 2009

Natural gas utility awaits public input

Representatives of the cities of Beulah and Hazen met Friday, March 6 with representatives of Major Pipeline, L.L.C. The company wants to bring a pipeline into the two communities that would supply natural gas to businesses and residences.

"I was extremely pleased with their marketing plan," Beulah Mayor Darrell Bjerke said. "They’re going to have a presence in both towns. They laid out their strategy and the financing they put together. They put a lot of my fears to rest."

"They came up and they’re ready and willing to go," Hazen city planner Steve Frovarp said. "The cities, of course, need to have their elections to see whether people want to establish a city utility."

The cities have both signed an Exclusivity Agreement with Major Pipeline. The agreement, which runs through 2013, prohibits the cities from negotiating with any other entity for natural gas service. The next step is to review the surveys the two cities are conducting. Hazen mailed theirs out on Feb. 19.

"Our survey’s going to be in the mail Monday, (March 9)," Bjerke said. "We wanted the citizens to have a voice."

If the survey shows enough interest, the voters would have to decide if they wanted to establish a municipal utility

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