All systems are go with the new 48-mile St. Lawrence Gas pipeline that will extend from Norfolk in St. Lawrence County to Chateaugay in Franklin County.
Jim Ward, the fuel companys assistant general manager, reported to the Franklin County Board of Legislators on Thursday that all approvals have been obtained and construction is set to begin in mid-August.
The projects overall cost is $41 million, with Franklin County contributing $1.75 million.
The Empire State Development Corp. gave $2.5 million through a grant.
A contribution of $17.3 million will come from St. Lawrence Gas, with a possibility of more because Ward has said the company will likely increase its portion and collect a temporary surcharge from customers.
The projects cost includes the main pipeline along with distribution pipes.
Ward said that with construction beginning in August, the company hopes to reach Malone by the years end.
Next year, the pipeline will continue to Chateaugay and pipes will be installed for side streets.
Natural gas is an alternative energy source that may benefit the area, Ward said.
He said propane, wood and fuel oil are the most common energy sources for homeowners to heat their houses.
This just gives them a different choice, he said.
However, the alternative could save homeowners $1,100 during a season, Ward said.
The pipeline will be built underground and will go through some private properties, according to Ward.
He said St. Lawrence Gas negotiated easements, stipends for allowing construction on property, with property owners and most of them agreed.
Ward said the company gained access to property even if the owners did not agree through eminent-domain laws.
Its not something we wished to do, he said. The goal is to make everyone happy with us.
Board Chairman Gordon Crossman, D-Malone, praised the project.
Were ecstatic about the news weve received, he said.
Mr. Crossman thanked the board but especially thanked Legislator Tim Smith, D-Fort Covington, who has worked on the project for seven years, and Jim Feeley, retired county manager, for their hard work.
Other legislators spoke of the pipelines benefits.
This project is huge, said Legislator Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay. Its huge for our county. Its an economic development project for our county. I think well see ramifications of this for years to come.