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Consumers Energy expands to Atlas Township



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December 19, 2012 - Atlas Twp.-Consumers Energy is coming.

Within two years, 1,067 township residents could be utilizing natural gas for their homes. The message was delivered by John T. Foley, gas service field leader of Consumers Energy, who attended the township meeting on Monday night.

"We will need 50 percent participation from the township to make this project go," said Foley.

"Right now we are anticipating a cost to customers of $3,600 to $4,200 to hook up. In addition, there will be a hook-up fee of $200 plus $10 per foot over 300 (feet)."

Foley said the township will be divided into two sections, with 487 customers east of M-15 and 582 on the west side.

"There will be about 34 miles of main gas line installed over a two-year period," he said.

"While it's not certain, the west section of the township will have gas in 2013 and the east section in 2014."

Financing will also be available for residents and can be spread over 10 years at an interest rate of 7.98 percent, he said.

A public meeting for township residents will be announced toward the end of January 2013.

While most propane furnaces can be converted to natural gas, other home appliances, including hot water heaters, cannot.

"This is good for the township," said Shirley Kautman-Jones, township supervisor.

"We understand not all residents will go with Consumers right now, but they will make gas available. There will be plenty of questions and residents will have the chance to respond."

Consumers Energy will mail letters the first of the year.

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