Feasibility next stage for natural gas in BLPublished 10:52am Thursday, August 16, 2012
A total of 41.72 percent of Battle Lake’s 501 registered voters showed up at the polls to vote on the establishment of a natural gas utility in the city. While 81.64 percent voted in favor of the utility, there is still no guarantee it will be built.
“What the vote did was allow the city to explore the possibility of installing a natural gas utility,” city engineer Jeremy Anderson said. “The next step will be to see how many people would sign up to get natural gas service.”
The city wants to find out if installing the utility would be financially feasible. If there are enough sign-ups, the project will proceed, but if there aren’t enough, it would be determined that the installation of the utility would not be financially feasible, and nothing would be built, he said.
The $3.4 million natural gas utility would be paid for by general obligation bonds from those who sign up to receive service. If there are enough sign-ups, the project could get started as early as 2013.
Natural gas is considered a clean, dependable and efficient source of power, and Perham, Henning, New York Mills are already using it as a citywide utility. Fergus Falls has natural gas service through Great Plains Natural Gas.