Bainbridge holds public hearing on pipeline proposal

BAINBRIDGE – The Bainbridge Town Hall was filled to capacity Tuesday night as residents gathered for a public hearing on whether the town should enter into discussions with Leatherstocking Natural Gas.

The limited liability company, a joint venture between Mirabito Holdings, Inc. and Corning Natural Gas, is seeking a franchise agreement with the Town of Bainbridge to use the public right-of-way along town, county and state roads for the purpose of installing a natural gas distribution pipeline.

Company officials say the gas transported by the pipeline would go to large industrial customers, like Amphenol and MeadWestvaco, and other businesses as well as schools, municipal buildings and some residential customers.

“Our focus is local gas for local people,” said Joe Mirabito, president of Mirabito Holdings, Inc.

He and his business associates see the economic viability of the project, and believe it will help preserve jobs. He stressed that Leatherstocking is not a producer, driller, interstate pipeline, gathering company, gas storage company nor a processor, but a transportation company.

“Right now, this is an opportunity for two local companies to come together to fill a local need for local people,” he said.

Corning Natural Gas President and CEO Mike German explained some of the more technical details of the project. According to German, the pipeline his company intends to install would carry natural gas at a pressure of no more than 124 psi, and would not require compression stations. The pipe itself would be 6 to 8” in diameter, medium to high density plastic pipe buried at an average depth of 30” below the surface.

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