BELGRADE — Selectmen tonight will hear a presentation from a natural gas company seeking to reroute a gas line through Belgrade.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the North Belgrade Community Center.

Richard Silkman, a partner of Portland-based Kennebec Valley Gas Co., said Sidney rejected giving the company a tax break for its proposed natural gas pipeline. Tax-increment financing districts would be created in areas of the town where the pipeline would extend.

He said plans for the $86 million natural gas pipeline to be built from Richmond to Madison have to be altered to avoid Sidney, which opposed the TIF.

The gas company is seeking a TIF from Belgrade.

“We’re looking for an alternative route rather than go through Sidney,” Silkman said Monday. “It’s a tad longer, but picks up better customers, so we’re looking at that option. We need to get from where the new hospital is in Augusta through to Oakland center.”

He said the original proposed route ran along Middle Road in Sidney. The alternative route would run along Route 27, then Route 11 to Oakland.

“It will be right along the route in both instances,” he said. “We’re in the road right of way.”

Silkman said the larger potential customers in Belgrade include Hammond Lumber and Gagne & Son. Natural gas service also would be available to nearby residents, he said.

“Depending on how many neighborhoods there are and what the demand will be,” he said. “I don’t know if there is interest along that route, but we would certainly provide service to residents.”

Town Manager Gregory Gill said the gas company contacted him the day after Sidney residents rejected the proposal.

“They’re going to present what they’re offering in the way of a TIF agreement,” Gill said. “This is just an informational meeting.”

Municipalities that have given approval to TIFS are Augusta, Fairfield, Gardiner, Hallowell, Norridgewock, Oakland, Skowhegan and Waterville.

Richmond residents did not support the proposal during a November town survey, so selectmen decided not to bring the issue to voters at their annual Town Meeting.

Farmingdale residents rejected the tax break at a special town meeting in December, but the town will vote again on the matter in a June referendum.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]


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