SNOW HILL — One Worcester County Commissioner has decided to try and make natural gas a more viable substitute for propane on the Eastern Shore.
Commissioner Judy Boggs made it a point to question department heads about propane usage during a budget review Tuesday.
“It’s a special mission of mine,” she told the assembly.
Boggs expressed surprise when told that at least five county schools were heated by propane.
The list of county buildings that utilized propane grew as the budget session continued. After each department head confirmed a reliance on propane, Boggs asked if they also had a desire to switch some operations over to natural gas. The general opinion was unanimously in favor of looking into natural gas.
However, it’s not simply a question of demand equaling supply. According to Boggs, natural gas suppliers have gotten as far as Salisbury and Somerset County but stopped before they made it further east.
“This year seems to be different,” Boggs remarked, guessing that, if the situation is handled properly, Worcester might start seeing propane being replaced with natural gas in the near future.
Boggs has already scheduled a meeting with Chesapeake Utilities, one of the closest providers of natural gas, for next Thursday. However, representatives from the company are looking for “documented public demand” before committing to coming to Worcester.
In response, Boggs asked any county representatives that were interested in the potential of natural gas to send her a letter or email showing support, which she could, in turn, forward on to the Chesapeake Utilities as an example of public demand.
“A natural gas option would help our bottom line,” Boggs said, asserting her belief that natural gas could potentially cut some heating bills in half when compared to propane.
Boggs said she was hoping to show up to her meeting with a legion of emails and letters and to be able to say, “look at all of this interest.”
However, because the specifics of utilizing natural gas extensively in Worcester are of yet unknown, Boggs said next Thursday’s meeting would just be a chance to test the waters.
“I’m not afraid to ask the hard questions,” she said.
Beyond the official support she requested, Boggs also strongly encourages any county residents who would like to see a natural gas option made available contact her at [email protected]