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June 29--  The Lyons Corporate Center industrial park on U.S. Highway One has an empty "spec" building just waiting for a client, however, a lack of natural gas capacity is a disadvantage when industries come to look at the property.

The Toombs County Development Authority is asking the Georgia Public Service Commission to approve a $10 million project for more natural gas in this area, but at the same time is considering the option of using propane gas in the Lyons Corporate Center, according to Development Authority Executive Director Michelle Johnson, "What we would consider is the construction of a bulk tank and service lines throughout the center to supply propane to industrial users."

A Development Authority committee has met with Conger Gas President Dan Richardson of Tifton who is researching a propane project for consideration.  Meanwhile, Johnson says it would be ideal to have both propane and more natural gas capacity in the center.

"In the long term, we hope to provide customers with a choice of natural gas or propane.  We could also do an and/or option so that companies who choose the natural gas option can choose an interruptible rate as opposed to an uninterruptible rate and save a lot of money by using propane as a backup," she said.

The Authority has tried unsuccessfully twice before to get Atlanta Gas Light to increase its capacity to businesses and industries to five counties in the area including Toombs, Emanuel, Montgomery, Wheeler and Treutlen.

"It's always better if you can offer customers options," Johnson says, "and that's what we're trying to do."

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