TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. -- A scoop of dirt on the shovels marked the start of a multi-phase pipeline project in Wyoming County.
The pipeline will move through Tunkhannock and Tunkhannock Township, supplying natural gas to homeowners and businesses.
“With the development of the Marcellus Shale, the natural gas infrastructure now passes that we can make a project that we can bring natural gas to the residents of Tunkhannock Township and Tunkhannock borough," said Don Brominksi, UGI director of business development.
The pipeline project received a $1 million grant from the state.
Phase one of the project goes along Sunnyside Road where 88 homes and 30 businesses will have access to natural gas. When the project is complete, 900 homes and 150 businesses will have access to the natural gas service.
According to UGI, homeowners could save around $1,500 a year when switching from electric heat and $1.200 when making the switch from oil heat.
“I mean it is underneath us, right? So, it is potentially ours, to begin with, we just haven't been able to utilize it, so I think that is a good thing,” Carey Bonning said.
While most people Newswatch 16 spoke with agreed that it was "a good thing," road construction seemed to be a worry with the pipeline project.
“We are concerned about our streets. Some of them are very old. There are situations under the streets that aren't conducive to digging as far as the base is concerned,” said Ben Barziloski, Tunkhannock council vice president.
“I am not sure how I would feel about them tearing up the ground to get to it. It might cause more traffic backups and that would take away from the historical part of it,” said Bonning.
The pipeline project is set to begin Monday and then be completed sometime next summer.
UGI will pay to hook up homes and businesses. It's up to the owner to pay for any new furnaces, pipelines, and equipment inside.