PT: sunday local

PT: sunday local

Pontotoc to advertise for gas project in April

By Jane Hill

Daily Journal

PONTOTOC – City officials heard recently from engineers at work planning a gas pipeline project that would enable the city-owned gas company to serve more customers in a wider area.

Brett Brooks, engineer with Cook Coggin Engineering of Tupelo, said plans for the project should be complete and the city should be ready to advertise for bids by early April. That would put the start date for construction near the beginning of May, he said.

The project involves laying an 11-mile gas pipeline from a Columbia Gulf Gas Co. line in northwestern Pontotoc County to the city of Pontotoc.

The estimated cost of the project is about $1.2 million.

City officials chose to do the project because during peak demand times, the system has experienced low pressure and in some cases a loss of gas service on the outer edges of the service area.

Pontotoc Mayor Herman Austin said getting the additional gas supplier will not only allow the city to better serve the customers it already has, but will also permit the city to expand to the area which it has been certified to serve by the Mississippi Public Service Commission.

Brooks said after plans for the transmission line project are complete, he will begin phase two of a long-term expansion plan for the gas system by engineering the installment of distribution lines to branch out to the Pontotoc-Lee county line to the east and to the Pontotoc-Chickasaw county line to the south.

Austin said Cook Coggin also will be asked to complete a comprehensive field survey of the existing gas system.

Brooks said such an assessment would enable the city to see growth trends in the county and determine where larger distribution lines might be needed to meet growing demand.

“Some of these lines were installed more than 10 years ago, and while a 2-inch line might have been adequate to serve the people in that area back then, it may need to be replaced with a larger one now.”

Concerns over the system’s gas supply grew this winter when demand rose sharply during a severe December cold snap. Some customers on the end of service lines lost gas pressure or lost service altogether for a brief period.

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