Natural gas is coming to three Bruce County municipalities.
EPCOR will be delivering the service to Kincardine, Arran-Elderslie and Huron-Kinloss.
An official announcement of the project was made in Kincardine Tuesday afternoon at the Davidson Centre.
Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie says the financial implications for residents and businesses will be very positive.
“Our studies show that we could save the three communities, our residents and businesses up to $20-million to $30-million a year in savings in our three municipalities. That is huge.”
EPCOR is assuming the cost of the whole project, which will cost roughly $60-million to $80-million, and the Province is giving $27.7-million in grants. There will be no cost to the taxpayers to have the project done.
Huron-Kinloss Mayor Mitch Twolan says that despite some rumours, there is no mandatory hook-up for residents.
“That is the farthest thing from the truth. In fact, the only way you will be paying anything is to convert your furnace and your hot water heater over to natural gas. That cost will be born on the taxpayer obviously because that is a choice they’ve made as a consumer," he says.
Arran-Elderslie Mayor Paul Eagleson says on top of savings for residents, natural gas will do wonders for industries and local businesses.
“To attract industry, to either Paisley or Chesley, the gas was crucial. We’ve lost industry, we’ve lost opportunities. To be competitive, this far away from the 401, gas is crucial," says Eagleson.
Thomas Stachowski, customer care rep for Southern Bruce with EPCOR, says the project could be underway fairly soon, after the Leave To Construct application is submitted to the Ontario Energy Board.
The deadline for submission is October 12, and depending on how quickly it’s approved the project can get moving.
“We’re suspecting based on other applications we made in the process, we could have shovels in the ground by spring of 2019," says Stachowski.
EPCOR will hold open houses in all three municipalities in about a month as part of the environmental report. Any questions about the project will be addressed at the open house events.