KAWARTHA LAKES- Residents of Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls could soon be hooking up to natural gas.
City Of Kawartha Lakes Council voted 13-1 in favour of working with Enbridge Gas to extend the pipeline to the two villages. “We think we have really good news for you.” said Steve Mcgill, Enridge Gas. “We are closer to bringing natural gas to Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls that ever before.’
Representatives from Enbridge told council the company had not expanded since 2008 due to government regulations. “How we are regulated has everything to do with why haven’t expanded since 2008, higher construction costs and regulations.” Mcgill told council.
Mcgill and his colleague Mark Wilson asked council for a resolution in support of the expansion. They also told council that recent changes to the regulations makes it easier for them to expand but they need concessions from the city. “There’s 70 million dollars in government funding available for projects like this.” said Mcgill. If council agreed to concessions.
The proposal would see 195 km of additional natural gas line laid, 75 km in Fenelon and 125 in Bobcaygeon servicing 5700 homes. The concession would mean deferring ten years of taxes from the company which would equal about 3 million dollars.
Some councillors didn’t think it would be fair to other businesses. “We have native businesses such as propane dealers and others who do good work in the community and when they do things there is no help to them” said Councillor Elmslie. He was also concerned about the cost.
In the end Councillor Elmslie voted in favour of the project. Councillor Junkin was the only dissenting vote.
Enbridge has until July 31st to apply for the government funding. It is projected that construction will begin in Fenelon Falls in the spring of 2018 with customers coming online in the fall. Bobcaygeon will follow in 2019. Mcgill says Natural Gas would save the average homeowner more than $800 a year.