(Hamilton, NY – June 2012) When voters in the Village of Hamilton approved the formation of a municipal gas utility, they set in motion a comprehensive engineering and construction effort to bring natural gas service to the village by a target date of fall 2014.
“With the voters’ authorization, we are proceeding with the detailed planning of our gas delivery system,” said Mayor Margaret Miller.
Among the questions before the village are which natural gas pipelines will supply the gas, where the village lines will connect to the pipelines, what route the line will take into the village, and how the system will be laid out to serve the greatest number of potential users.
On the legal and business fronts are issues such as obtaining necessary permits, developing rate schedules and registering with the Public Service Commission.
“The team of consulting engineers and attorneys we hired to work from established formulas and prior experience to determine the potential costs and benefits of natural gas are now shifting their focus to the specifics of helping us create Hamilton’s own delivery system,” said Village Administrator Sean Graham.
While much of the design and construction will be hired out to firms with that experience, Graham said that the village anticipates bringing some of its own utility employees online during the process, “so they will be familiar with our system from the ground up and prepared to take over the operation and maintenance once construction is complete.”
Graham said the village also hopes to hire someone with extensive practical experience in all phases of natural gas utility operations and maintenance to serve as clerk-of-the-works during construction of the line and transfer to village control. He hopes a recent utility retiree may want to work consulting for the village.
“Anyone with that kind of experience who would like to learn more can contact me at the village office,” Graham said.
Graham said that a survey of potential customers has been especially helpful in assessing demand within the village. He encouraged anyone who has not responded to the survey to contact the village office for a survey form.