Kincardine council has given the go-ahead to start the process that could bring a 44 million dollar natural gas service project to the community.
In doing so they turned down an offer to have the first two study phases paid for by a private company.
Canadian Agra, which operates a dehydration facility on Highway 21 between Tiverton and Kincardine offered to pay Kincardine's portion of the cost of Phases 1 and 2, amounting to $16,250.
Councillors said thanks, but no thanks, choosing to put up the money themselves.
CanAgra president and CEO Jack Smit says he's pleased Kincardine decided to put their money on the line for the study.
Kincardine Mayor Larry Kraemer says they need to move on this project now.
He says they either wrestle with the challenges now or it will be decades before any gas service sees this part of the province.
Smit agrees the project is important.
He says should it not come to fruition, there is a chance his firm will have to pull up roots and re-locate elsewhere where gas service is available so that they can cut energy costs.
Meanwhile, Kincardine councillor Maureen Couture voted against spending the money saying it wasn't in the budget and that the gas utility is going to profit from the project so they should foot the bill.
Besides Kincardine's portion, Huron Kinloss and Arran Elderslie will be asked to ante up $8,125 each for the studies.
Phase 1 will determine just how many customers would be available for the gas service and phase two would determine the capital cost to construct the pipeline and distribution system.
Answers should be ready in a couple of months time.
If the answers look encouraging, then they would move on to an expensive Environmental Assessment procedure.
Estimates put the cost of the entire project at 44 million dollars of which Union Gas has 10-million in place.