Kingston gas service assured through winter

Published 1:04 am Monday, December 19, 2016


NATCHEZ — Kingston residents will not have to worry about losing natural gas service over the winter months, an Adams County supervisor says.

Adams County District 2 Supervisor David Carter said natural gas service for the 154 customers in Kingston has been guaranteed through March, and negotiations are ongoing for long-term service.

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“The number one goal was getting through the short term so everyone has natural gas through the winter months with no interruption,” Carter said.

In July, American Midstream Partners announced it would cap its natural gas line at Cloverdale, which would cause Kingston residents to be cut off from the supply line.

The company is installing a new pipeline from Louisiana’s Franklin Parish into Adams County, replacing a 1920s-era 8-inch line that runs from Monroe, La., to Baton Rouge with a 12-inch line that will end in Natchez.

Mississippi River Gas owns the Kingston line, tapping into the American Midstream service. Carter said Mississippi River Gas is not willing to upgrade the line.

First, Carter said officials tried to find a company who could tap into the line currently present in Kingston. But Carter said the line is in too bad of shape to continue to function.

Carter said the next option was to attempt to work out a deal with Atmos Energy to extend lines into the Kingston area.

“They are out of it,” Carter said. “Those options have fallen through.”

A third option that wouldn’t require Kingston residents to switch to a propane or electric service is on the table, Carter said. Carter said he would not identify the company until plans are concrete.

“It would be a permanent solution that would not change anything in anyone’s house,” Carter said. “I feel certain we are very close to a long-term solution.”

But with the long-term solution, Carter said bad news does exist — a rate increase is certain. Carter said he did not know how much the rate would increase.

“Once the deals are ironed out, we will have a community meeting,” Carter said. “We will give all the details and let the residents make the final decision, not me. I will give my opinion, but it is ultimately their decision.”

The alternative is for residents to switch to an area propane company for gas service or outfit their residences for electric service.

Carter said if the propane or electric service option is selected, Mississippi River Gas, through American Midstream Partners and approved by the Mississippi Public Service Commission, will pay customers $2,500 to help with expenses.