March 24, 2013

Gas pipeline key boost for Murray’s future

Rachel Brown

— A project to lay $8 million of natural gas lines will cut costs for many poultry farmers and could help bring in additional businesses and industries, said Murray County Sole Commissioner Brittany Pittman.

Officials learned of the grant approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission as part of Atlanta Gas Light’s expansion plans late last week. Atlanta Gas Light will begin the work of laying 4.7 miles of pipe in the north end of the county and seven miles in the south end at a time to be determined. The company will use the existing right of way for the project, Pittman said.

“It’s going to be great for our community,” Pittman said. “We got about 47 percent of the funding that was allocated for the entire state.”

Pittman said once the lines are in place, individual property owners can pay to hook in rather than go to the expense of maintaining their own gas tanks.

“This will aid tremendously in the operation of the many poultry farms —17 farms with over 70 poultry houses — along the footprint,” Pittman said. “This will be able to serve industrial facilities as well as residential homes. This will allow us to be more competitive from an economic development standpoint, and really just goes to show when individuals work cooperatively together for the best interest of the community that good things will come as a result of those efforts.”

Murray Chamber of Commerce President Dinah Rowe and state Rep. John Meadows were instrumental along with Pittman in pursuing the universal service fund grant, the commissioner said.

The pipeline will run along part of Maple Grove Road to Ga. 225, along 225 to Brown Bridge Road, and down a section of Brown Bridge Road and Johnson Road. It will also run along U.S. Highway 411 from approximately the Keener Road area to near Halls Chapel Road, branching out to sections of several side roads along the way.

According to a press release from the Public Service Commission, the south Murray County portion of the project will cost $5.16 million while the northern leg will cost $2.9 million.