Natural gas project could go ahead this year


By Barb McKay


The natural gas committee may soon determine the best option to carry out the project to bring the service to the region.


In December, Kincardine council agreed to form a municipal services corporation with Huron-Kinloss Township and Arran-Elderslie Township, the two other municipalities participating in the project. On Friday, Kincardine mayor Larry Kraemer said the project is ready to be taken further.


“An awful lot of work was done on the natural gas project and now we are at the point of forming a corporation and choosing a preferred option (to bring in natural gas),” he said. “My hope is that we can have this project ready to go to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) by the end of this term.”


By choosing the preferred option to bring natural gas in and distribute it, Kraemer said, the municipalities will have a good handle on what the expected costs are, including costs to residents and businesses to hook up. Forming the municipal services corporation, he noted, is a critical step in securing financing for the project.


Attempts have been made previously over the past decade to bring natural gas to Kincardine, but politicians have said in recent months that this is the closest the project has ever come to being a reality.

The committee, with representation from the three municipalities and Bruce Telecom, which is assisting the project, is developing a business plan. Kraemer said the committee will need to provide the OEB with concrete details around economics, how the service will be billed, a complete environmental assessment and show proof of contracts with commercial users in order to get the project approved.


Once the municipalities receive OEB approval, construction can begin to bring natural gas to the region.