March 19, 2009

Natural gas numbers are in

The people have spoken – in Hazen, anyway.

The Hazen City Commission reviewed results of a survey Monday evening that gauged residents’ feelings on the city establishing a municipal natural gas utility, as well as if the resident would consider signing up for natural gas service. For the city of Hazen to get natural gas, the utility must be owned by the city.

With 303 surveys returned, 54 percent responded yes, they would be in favor of the city establishing a municipal natural gas utility. Though when asked if they would consider such a service in their own home, 58 percent said no. The most common reason cited for not using the service was that they are already using electric heat in their home.

Although the results were not the 60 percent approval the commission previously said would convince Major Pipelines L.L.C., of Grand Rapids, Mich., to build – Hazen City Planner Steve Frovarp said the company representatives still seemed optimistic.

"They reported they had financing all lined up to go before survey results were in," Frovarp said. "They think that they might be able to convince more once they’re here."

In fact, Frovarp said Major Pipelines representatives said that they secured $12-$15 million for the project in the last few weeks. Construction and installation costs were tentatively noted to be $2.5 million for Hazen and Beulah each, and another $5 million to get pipeline up and running – which would be split between the two communities.

The Weather Network