Highland Mayor Jerome Norwood announced at the Oct. 14 City Council meeting, that Sharp County is looking into natural gas.
Norwood told the council he and the other Spring River Area mayors met with Judge Larry Brown and Crist Engineering representatives, Stewart Noland and Jack Castin, Oct. 7. The group discussed the possibility of bringing natural gas to Sharp County.
"Natural gas in this area would be a big plus for everyone," Norwood said. Norwood explained to the council that this project is in the beginning stages. Each of the area mayors will bring it before their council and vote to take it to the next step.
After the area councils' vote, the next step would be to present the idea to Sharp County citizens. The county will gather commitment forms from residents and businesses to estimate the interest of the citizens.
"We have to have enough interest to justify the cost," Judge Brown said. If there are enough commitments to justify the project, then a public facilities board would be appointed to represent the county and its cities.
Noland explained that the company that owns the high-pressure line does not own the gas, but only charges for allowing the gas to pass through their pipeline. The facilities board could contract for gas at a wholesale rate on the open market and sell the gas at a price sufficient to cover debt service and maintenance service.
"This is a big endeavor, but I feel we need to look beyond and toward the future," Judge Brown said.
The Highland City Council passed the resolution to continue the natural gas project.
In other business Mayor Norwood thanked the council for their help in a successful 10th Anniversary Celebration. Norwood passed out certificates of appreciation to the members of the council who put in much time and work to make the celebration a success. "I want to thank everybody. Everyone pitched in and helped," Norwood said.
The council passed a new ordinance ammendment to obtain the 10 percent fee on sewer and water bills. The 10 percent late fee is already applicable to the bills but the sewer department currently obtains the fee. The ammendment is for the water department to obtain their portion of the fees assessed.
The next regular council meeting is set for Nov. 11. City Hall will be closed that day for Veterans Day.