Bucksport-Bangor Gas negotiations stall again

BUCKSPORT — Negotiations with Bangor Gas Co. to provide service to Bucksport residents have stalled once again.

“It’s almost like two steps forward, one step back,” Economic Development Director Dave Milan said.

Bringing natural gas to Bucksport became an option after Bangor Gas reached an agreement with Verso Paper in which the mill would use natural gas to operate the facility.

For that project, a pipeline had to be installed from Bangor to the mill. This prompted other large consumers — such as the schools — to consider switching to natural gas as a heating source if it would be more cost-efficient.

“Bangor Gas presented us (the town) with numbers which it believed was needed to make natural gas available to residents,” Town Manager Mike Brennan said.

But when Brennan and others questioned how Bangor Gas came up with the numbers, the company officials refused to provide the documentation to back up their claims.

This led the town to file a complaint with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) so the issue would be resolved as quickly as possible.

“We filed a complaint with the PUC, which isn’t really a complaint, but we had to phrase it as one,” Milan said.

He went on to explain the reason behind calling the issue “a complaint” is because the PUC can only deal with requests if they come in complaint form.

“All we (Bucksport) is really asking for is clarification on how Bangor Gas is interpreting the numbers, but we had to submit that as a complaint, so we did,” Milan said.

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Amanda Greenberg

Former Ellsworth American reporter Amanda Greenberg joined the staff in October 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono. Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Amanda moved to Maine when she was nine.