If you look across the street from June Sears' home in Plattsburgh you can see where the natural gas line stopped.
“The gas is right over there, see the other road. It goes right up that road there. I said we are so near yet so far,” said Sears.
Sears says those lines were put in a few years back but she still can't hook up to natural gas.
“We can't do anything about it,” said Sears.
Bernie Bassett, the Town Supervisor says the problem began popping up a few years ago; residents started reaching out to him saying they wanted natural gas but couldn’t get it. So the town looked into the problem and took it to the New York State Public Service Board with the goal to expand the access to natural gas to everyone who wants it. A recent ruling by the New York State Public Service Commission gave utility company "NYSEG" the okay to expand its operation.
But this new ruling should change that.
“I'm confident the recent ruling by the Public Commission will echo through the municipality and we are going to see some positive economic impacts because of that,” said Bassett.
Bassett says that impact is widespread. He says better access to natural gas should attract more businesses to the area. And homeowners can save a lot of money by switching from propane to natural gas; money that could be cycled back into the local economy.
Bassett says he hopes NYSEG will hit the ground running so the community can quickly see the changes.
“It’s a ten year plan at max; we'd like to think a lot of this will happen even faster. Obviously the areas that are going to be more easily done should be approached first,” said Bassett.
Sears and some of her neighbors are hoping they are next in line.
“We'll just have to hope and pray that they come through with it,” said Sears.
The town of Plattsburgh is working very closely with nyseg to make sure the changes are cost effect for the company. But Bassett says the town will not be fronting any money; the cost of expansion is up to the company.
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