By Alyssa Schnugg
Abbeville residents and those living between Oxford and Abbeville can soon start cooking marshmallows on a fork using their gas stove.
On Thursday, Public Service Commissioner for the Northern District Brandon Presley, Abbeville Mayor Scott Fricker, representatives from Centerpoint Energy and local government officials attended a ceremonial ceremony in Abbeville to officially announce the expansion of natural gas availability in Abbeville.
“This is something we’ve been working on for four years,” Presley said. “We know for a fact this is going to allow residents to reduce their cost of living if they choose to take gas as a heating source.”
Chris Durham, marketing sales consultant for Centerpoint said 46 homes have signed contracts to start receiving gas. A total of 90 residents indicated interest in receiving gas once the lines were established.
“The plan is on Oct. 16 to start accepting bids for the downtown and approach lines,” he said.
Construction will begin in November, with service to customers becoming available sometime in early 2020.
The new gas line will run from Wilsonart, the former Roseburg plant, up to Abbeville.
“This will not just help Abbeville residents but will everyone living along this corridor by giving them access to natural gas,” Presley said.
Fricker said he hopes the new gas lines will save Abbeville residents money.
“Propane gas is expensive,” he said, adding that having natural gas available could help efforts to revitalize the downtown Abbeville area. “This should save people a considerable amount of money.”
Others attending Thursday’s ceremony were Lafayette County Supervisors David Rikard and Kevin Frye and Mississippi House Rep. Steve Massengill.
Frye said the new gas expansion is something county leaders have anticipated for several years and hope to see more in the future.
“One of our priorities was to expand natural gas to as many places as we can, not just this area but to as many residents as we can. It’s exciting to see something we were planning for now happening.”