New Milford Twp. ready for natural gas service

BY STACI WILSON

If natural gas service comes through New Milford, the township is ready to hook on.

At the March 19 meeting, township supervisors indicated that they were interested in signing on with Leatherstocking for natural gas service to heat the township buildings.

Recent upgrades and construction projects completed at the municipal property, including new heating systems, can be converted to run on natural gas.

Leatherstocking Gas Company said, in a meeting held in New Milford on March 14 that it would bring service to New Milford if 180 customers committed to hook onto the system.

Plans include running distribution lines from the Sutton Road area of the township, down SR 848 and to the borough and then north on SR 11.
Supervisor Jack Conroy said the township’s upgrades were deliberately made to allow for the conversion to natural gas service when the line came by on the way to the Blue Ridge campus.

Initially, Leatherstocking hoped to hook up the local school district to natural gas providing a sufficient load to justify the investment of building the local distribution system.

But the district’s wood chip boiler system provides heat in the school buildings at a lower cost than natural gas. Although the board has noted it could convert cafeteria equipment to natural gas, the fuel source would not be used for its primary heating.

With no anchor customer, the gas distribution company put its plans to hook up New Milford on hold. But efforts from New Milford Borough caused Leatherstocking to take another look at the feasibility of bringing service to parts of the borough and township.

Conroy said liquid propane would remain the fuel source for the township’s emergency generator.

The township received the annual pesticide report from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP_ from the Lakeside Outing Club that indicated no pesticides were used in 2013.

The township also received DEP permit application notifications for an air quality permit for Popple Construction; and for energy permits for Southwestern Energy to drill three horizontals on the Innes North well pad.