Vidalia to extend gas line to port, industrial park
VIDALIA — The Town of Vidalia’s port and industrial park will soon have a gas line after the Mayor and Board of Alderman awarded a contract to Womack and Sons Construction Group Inc. to extend the town’s gas lines to the properties.
During a special-called, noon meeting Tuesday, the Vidalia Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted unanimously, with aldermen Sabrina Dore and Triand McCoy absent, to award the $467,995.30 project to Womack and Sons Construction Group Inc.
Alderman Robert Gardner made the motion to award the contract and alderman Tommy Probst seconded the motion.
Also included in the project is conduit to facilitate fiber optics for the town’s broadband initiative, said Guy Murray, project manager with Bryant Hammett and Associates engineering.
The project has been in the works for several months to improve the port and the town’s industrial park by bringing improved natural gas lines to the port and industrial park tenants, including Syrah Technologies, said Mayor Buz Craft.
“Right now there is not a gas line out there (to the port) to service any of the gas,” Craft said.
The project came in well under the projected $515,000 budget for the project, Craft said.
The project is partially funded by a $200,000 (minus $6,000 administrative fee) grant from Delta Regional Authority and $226,000 through a state grant for industrial project development, Vidalia officials have said.
Vidalia’s portion of the project was $47,995.30, said Heather L. Malone, director Concordia Economic & Industrial Development.
Dore missed Tuesday’s special-called but said she would have voted in support of the project, even though she had voted against accepting the Delta Regional Authority grant late last year over concerns about extending the gas lines beyond the port to the industrial park.
“My exception to it was only the extension of the gas line at our cost,” Dore said. “They are extending the gas line past what needed to be done, to extend it out to the industrial park.”
Dore said she agreed the port needed a gas line but believed at the time last year that the industrial park did not need that added gas line.
“That part of the expense was not covered 100 percent by the grant,” Dore said. “With all of the money, we are looking to have to spend as a result of all the flooding, fixing streets and fixing sewers that did not seem like a priority at the time, because there is gas service out there. They just wanted to expand the gas service.”
Dore said the new project would run bigger gas lines out to the industrial park.
“That was the only reason I voted against it originally but since it is kind of a kit and caboodle-type deal it is all or nothing,” Dore said. “We do need a gas line to the port. It will improve the park, which I am in no way against, but when we are looking to further develop it and make it what we call shovel ready so that if somebody comes and says, ‘OK, I want to buy this piece of property adjacent to where Syrah is located,’ we will already be ready at that point to extend the gas line to them.”
NATCHEZ — Who said science buffs cannot love English, too? Mallory Hinson, a senior at Cathedral High School and... read more