FARMINGTON — An effort to bring natural gas to Farmington is on hold, Town Manager Richard Davis told the Board of Selectmen last week.

Although Summit Natural Gas expressed strong interest in December 2012 in building a gas line from Livermore Falls to Farmington, perhaps in 2014, the project has stalled to see if the University of Maine at Farmington is on board, he said. No one has heard anything from UMF for some time, he said.

The university, Franklin Hospital and PalletOne in Livermore Falls are the largest potential customers who would become an anchor for the line. Other potential customers along Routes 2 and 4 have also expressed interest in the proposed natural gas line that could mean savings compared to oil and propane.

“It’s a huge question for business owners and residents, not just in Farmington but also Wilton, Jay and Livermore Falls,” Board of Selectmen chairman Ryan Morgan told Laurie Gardner, executive director for finance and administration at UMF, and Chip Gavin, director of facilities management of the University of Maine System. “I thought everything was on track but it’s now not even on Summit’s schedule for 2014.”

The university representatives were invited to the board meeting to talk about “where we’re at,” Morgan said.

An energy Request for Proposals process for the UMaine System was clearly not accomplished on schedule, Gavin told the board. “It’s taken longer,” he said. “Sorry about that.”

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The Request for Proposals process for the UMaine System is confidential and includes a variety of alternative energy sources for several campuses. Gavin and Gardner could not elaborate or answer questions.

Gavin did concede that there’s potential for a real opportunity here and the university wouldn’t have issued the Request for Proposals if they didn’t think so.

Morgan asked Gavin if he thought UMF might not be the backbone structure to bring the gas line here.

Gavin said he couldn’t speak to the outcome. They are still working through it, he said.

“We hope to have a conclusion within the calendar year,” he said.

State Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, who also attended the meeting, asked about the delay. The Request for Proposal was issued in June and there’s been no communication.

Although it’s been a publicly advertised process and the outcome is public, the time element was greater than anticipated, Gavin said.

“What’s good for UMF is good for Farmington and what’s good for Farmington is good for UMF,” Morgan said. “We’re trying to entice people and businesses here. No communication is frustrating.”

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