Fountain Inn, Politics

Inn the Know

Shawn Bell,
Fountain Inn
City Administrator

Bell’s Bits – Why Public Natural Gas Matter to Our Community – Besides our small-town charm, rich history, quaint downtown, and friendly residents; having our own natural gas utility truly makes Fountain Inn unique. Fountain Inn Natural Gas (http://www.fountaininngas.org/) has approximately 9,100 customers and is just one of a handful of municipally-owned natural gas utilities in South Carolina.

This year, October 6-12 is Public Natural Gas Week, a time when communities such as ours give recognition to one of their most valuable community assets—their publicly owned natural gas utility. We are dedicating this week to educating our community about the benefits of having a public natural gas utility in addition to promoting the overall benefits of natural gas for your fueling and heating needs. There are approximately 1,000 public natural gas utilities in the United States. Most are small and comprised of a few hundred to a few thousand customers. Despite their size, they have a huge impact on the communities they serve by providing an irreplaceable function of offering clean, affordable and efficient natural gas.

Our customers recognize the need to access reliable energy and having a local public natural gas utility is the best way to do that. There are many other benefits of having a public natural gas utility, for example:

  1. Public natural gas utilities are directly accountable to the citizens they serve, and decisions regarding your energy needs are made locally through citizen participation instead of being made outside of the community.
  2. Public natural gas utilities are locally controlled operations, which ensures that rates remain competitive and affordable. This is especially reassuring as energy and fuel prices continue to rise and affect your family’s bottom line.
  3. Lastly, public natural gas can play a valuable role in helping broaden our tax base and helps local dollars stay at home. We also work with local financial institutions and make purchases from local businesses. This, in turn, improves the local economy and creates jobs.
    We’re here for our community and invite you to join us in celebrating Public Natural Gas Week. If you have any questions regarding your public natural gas utility or your upcoming energy needs, please feel free to reach out to our new Natural Gas Director, Eduardo Noriega, at 864-862-0042 or eduardo.noriega@fountaininn.org.

Shawn Bell is the City Administrator of Fountain Inn. For more information, go to www.fountaininn.org, call 864-862-4421, or email shawn.bell@fountaininn.org♦

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