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Wotier hopes pipeline will bring industry

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By Molly Haines

With natural gas now in the city of Owenton, Mayor David “Milkweed” Wotier hopes to see action in the industrial park.
Wotier said Owenton’s lack of a natural gas line has hindered use of the spec building in the industrial park.
“When we’ve had people look at the spec building in the past, they’ve been appalled that we didn’t have natural gas,” Wotier said. “Once the economy turns around, I think we’ll have more luck with our industrial park now that we have a natural gas line.”
The Owenton City Council recently held a first reading of an ordinance that will give ownership of the city’s natural gas line to Carrollton Utilities.
“Letting Carrollton take ownership of the line was discussed from the beginning,” Wotier said. “They’re in the gas business and we aren’t. We’re offering a service, but we don’t have the equipment, setup or expertise to keep ownership. We did all of the leg work and made sure that there weren’t any kinks, but agreed that after one year, we would allow Carrollton to take over. We’re still getting our 3-percent franchise tax, so it’s not hurting us.”
Prior to the gas line’s completion, Owen County was the only county in Kentucky that did not have natural gas somewhere in the county, Wotier said.
Phase one of the project was completed in July 2007 and provides service to then-Actaris, the Industrial Park and residents along the pipeline route.
Wotier said the council received $5 million to begin the project, as a line item from then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher for phase one.
The city council received additional funding from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority for phase two of the project.
According to Carrollton Utilities’ website, phase II of the project consists of a pipeline through Owenton along U.S. 127 to the eastern city limits.
The Department for Local Government said on its website that Owenton received a $1 million low-interest loan from KIA that “will enable the city of Owenton to construct a 17-mile supply line and appurtenances to form the basis of a new city-owned gas distribution system.”
Wotier said the gas line project’s phase three could possibly extend the pipeline throughout the city of Owenton.
A second reading of the ordinance to give ownership of the line to Carrollton Utilities took place Monday.