Towns consider natural gas projects

6:13 PM, Jan 31, 2013   |    comments
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CUMBERLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Natural gas could be coming on line for residents of Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth in the future.

Town officials in the three towns have received two proposals from Maine Natural Gas and Summit Utilities to extend a natural gas pipeline into the three communities.

The project could cover 65 square miles and provide natural gas to about 27-thousand residents. The underground line would run through the center of Cumberland, to Route 1, and then north and south to Yarmouth and Falmouth.

Residents could save as much as 45 percent on their heating costs and officials believe natural gas would attract businesses to locating to either of the three towns and boost the tax base.

'It's tough to attract people out here where we don't have these utilities. Portland obviously have a lot of gas utilities now in place. The three towns we are talking about now have no gas but have two gas mains going right through them,' said Bill Shane, Cumberland Town Manager.

Town officials are expected to vote on the projects in late March. Construction could begin in the summer of 2014. Natural gas would be optional for residents. Homeowners would have to pay the cost of converting their heating systems to gas.

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