Balaton natural gas gets okay

By Per Peterson

There is plenty of excitement in the air — and there will soon be plenty of it underground as well — in Balaton over upcoming natural gas expansion around the city.
Balaton Economic Development Authority Director Tara Onken revisited the plan at Monday night’s EDA meeting in Balaton and told board members the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has given the go-ahead for the plan.
“The project is full-steam ahead,” Onken said. “The (PUC) is holding internal meetings to figure out the best ways to educate the community on hook-ups and sign-ups and what does this mean, and to answer questions the community has. We’re very excited. Everybody has been working together, and we’re very excited to see what this will lead to in the future.”

Onken said Balaton residents can expect multiple letters in the future to determine how that process will begin and what it will all entail.
The start date will be in late April or early May, depending on the weather, with completion by the end of November.
The Balaton CIty Council in January gave its blessing to the natural gas project and signed off on a letter of support drafted by Balaton Economic Development Authority Director Tara Onken and Lenton — written on behalf of the EDA and city council — and addressed to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.