Local officials and residents were on hand at Columbia Block and Brick in West Hattiesburg this Tuesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of Spire’s new natural gas service expansion that will begin on Highway 98 West soon.

After an October 19 approval from Mississippi Public Service Commission Chairman Dane Maxwell, Spire has the green light to construct a pipeline extending 2.7 miles westward along U.S. Highway 98 and subdivisions along the route. The new pipeline will expand natural gas service for residential and commercial premises.

“This is an exciting day for the West Hattiesburg area,” Maxwell said. “This project will bring much needed access to neighborhoods and businesses for the first time. This expansion and ones in the future will be an integral part of our efforts to best equip the Pine Belt with necessary services to attract new businesses, create jobs and support our existing businesses.”

Maxwell stated the project will be a multi-phase expansion and future projects like this will be a top priority at the Public Service Commission to promote economic development and ensure residential customers have access to low-cost service choices.

“We are very excited to embark on this important rural economic development initiative, providing West Hattiesburg access to affordable, reliable and clean natural gas,” said Kyle Rogers, Spire vice president, external affairs. “We thank Chairman Maxwell and his fellow commissioners for granting us this unique opportunity and look forward to creating more such opportunities in the future.”

The expansion in the Hattiesburg area not only provides new customers access to natural gas, it also supports economic development in an area where regional leaders see future growth.

“Spire is a strong partner with us at the Area Development Partnership as we strive daily to help Greater Hattiesburg grow and prosper,” says Chad Newell, President, Hattiesburg Area Development Partnership. “We are glad to see Spire broaden their footprint along a rapidly growing corridor in West Hattiesburg.”

Local residents and businesses are also looking forward to see the project’s completion and the benefits it will bring to their neighborhoods in terms of economic development and reliable alternatives.

The Outdoor Store at Columbia Block and Brick, is thrilled to host the team from Spire for the groundbreaking of the new natural gas expansion into Lamar County.

“At Columbia Block and Brick, we take pride in helping our customers build their dream home. The increased demand for natural gas amenities such as, gas logs, outdoor kitchens, grills, gas ranges, and gas lanterns only compliments our business,” store owner Adam Pittman said. The future for residents in Lamar county is bright and we have confidence in Spire and the cost savings natural gas will bring to our business and our local customers.”

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Release from Public Service Commissioner Dane Maxwell and Spire.