Word of gas line upgrade good news for Belpre

If Ohio Rep. Jay Edwards, R-94th District, is correct, an important improvement is on its way to the Mid-Ohio Valley. He told Belpre City Council this week that the Ohio Public Utilities Commission is likely to approve a project to improve and expand natural gas infrastructure between Marietta and Belpre — and that will mean an upgrade in the infrastructure that serves Belpre.

“We got news from the Public Utilities Commission that that plan is going to be approved on March 14, so that $8 million to $10 million project will open up that bottleneck from (Belpre) to Marietta and turning up the pressure,” Edwards said. “We’re going to have a lot more gas coming in.”

If Dominion Gas does, indeed, invest that much money in upgrading not just the piping, but maybe even a pumping station, it would go a long way toward solving some problems that have hampered development in Belpre. Home and commercial construction and development has been stymied because the current bottleneck creates a lack of available natural gas service. As Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz pointed out, there is even a fast food restaurant in town that has resorted to using tanks to serve its natural gas needs, because it could not get approval for a natural gas hookup.

“It’s very, very good news,” Edwards said.

Let us hope his confidence is justified. And let us hope we continue to see evidence our representatives in Washington, D.C., are looking out not just for our best interests on the national scale, but right here at home, too.