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Three cities to provide natural gas to Baxter

COVINGTON -- The cities of Covington, Madison and Social Circle will partner to provide natural gas service to Stanton Springs and its first tenant, Baxter International.

"Through a series of intergovernmental agreements, the cities will design, construct and maintain the system while providing reliable and competitively priced natural gas service. Construction begins later this year," according to a press release prepared by the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia and recently approved by the Covington and Social Circle city councils.

City Manager Steve Horton said discussions have been ongoing for years between the cities and the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia regarding a potential partnership.

"No contract between the serving parties has been approved or signed as of yet, so actual terms and conditions are not formalized," Horton said. "Preliminary discussions to date would have the three cities sharing in all project costs relating to main extensions and/or other service costs and in turn all would share in profits realized."

Horton said previous discussions included conditions that Covington and Social Circle would pay more than Madison toward project costs and would also receive greater shares of the profits. The Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia is working on a draft contract to send to the cities for review.

All three cities are members of the Municipal Gas Authority,the nation's largest nonprofit joint action natural gas agency. The partnership, according to the press release, will "provide secure, abundant and reliable natural gas to serve the currently planned Baxter International project and any future Stanton Springs developments."