Last August the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) approved a pipeline project to run natural gas from Ellijay to Blue Ridge, with services provided by Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) Company.
In the fall, AGL started designing and engineering the project and partitioned it into segments.
According to AGL,
“engineering and environmental studies are (currently) being completed to determine final routing on one of the segments.”
AGL Community Relations and Economic Development Manager Jodie Jones Huiet said the company is expected to begin construction this summer and complete the project by the first half of 2013. Huiet noted, though, like all construction projects, various factors could affect the start and completion dates.
Since its approval, the route of the pipeline has changed several times. Initially, the line was intended to essentially run up Highway 515. Then, in January, the plan changed to a course along Board town Road, starting in Ellijay. Now, the Board town Road route may also change, since engineering and environmental studies are still being conducted to determine final routing on one of the segments.
The Ellijay-Blue Ridge Corridor is part of AGL’s certificated service territory, although previously no service was available along this corridor.
According to AGL, the new 20-mile line is expected to reduce rates for natural gas and reduce propane prices. Also, Media Relations Manager Tami Gerke explained that the line will help poultry farmers in the area lower energy costs because natural gas provides an alternative to propane and will provide easier access to natural gas. The pipeline will
“boost economic development efforts in Fannin and Gilmer Counties by offering alternatives to industrial, commercial and residential developers, other than propane services, which is significantly higher (in cost),”
Initially, the project had a price tag of $23.7 million. Huiet stated the cost of the project is still on target.
The Atlanta Gas Light pipeline proposed to follow Boardtown Road does nothing to service the gilmer county residents. In a meeting with several members of the AGL project, we were told this is a distribution line but we will not be able to tie in for service. It is intended solely for the benefit of the Blue Ridge area or City; the Agl people are not telling us the truth.