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      Natural gas service could be available in Atlas Township

      Atlas Township residents consider participating in a natural gas main extension project Consumers Energy is planning.

      Residents in Atlas Township could have access to natural gas come next year.

      Tuesday night, Consumers Energy representatives met with residents to talk about plans to extend a natural gas main. If 50 percent of residents participate in the project, natural gas service would be an option for all residents.

      Some residents said switching to natural gas would help them reduce their monthly utility bill.

      â??500 dollars there, 600 dollars there, it hurts,â?? said Rick Wagner about his propane bills.

      John Foley, project manager with Consumers Energy, said residents can save about a dollar a gallon on their propane usage if they opt in for the natural gas main extension. Foley said participating in the project will cost each customer about $4,000 initially and payment plans are available.

      Consumers will host a second meeting Saturday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. at Goodrich High School.

      Construction for the gas main extension is slated to begin in 2014.