Enstar Natural Gas Company is continuing prep work for the expected construction on the trunk line into Homer.
Right now the gas company is mainly in the paperwork phase of the undertaking. Project Manager Chet Frost said Enstar must first receive a wetlands permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers and a utilities permit from the Alaska Department of Transportation. He said the company also is working on a cultural resources survey and recently finished an eagle survey.
“A consultant and myself spent most of yesterday driving up and down the pipeline route with a map of known eagle-nesting sites. We have a requirement that we don’t disturb any of those birds if they’re within 330 feet of our planned construction area,” Frost said.
Enstar has already awarded a contract for construction on the trunk line to Sterling-based Chumley Incorporated. Frost said the company mentioned plans to staff the majority of its crew with workers from Homer.
Enstar also has leased office space, which is located next to the Time Bandit store in the ground floor of The Mall on Sterling Highway. The location will serve as the construction and application office and Frost says they are in the midst of hiring staff.
“We have hired a marketing person,” he said. “A local person here from Homer who is going to be handling all the residential and commercial applications for service. We’re also in the process of interviewing some individuals that will serve as our construction inspectors on the construction effort itself.”
Frost said he expects the office to be fully up-and-running by the beginning of March. He pointed out that if anyone is interested in applying for natural gas service, information and forms are available at the Enstar website.
“The key things are their tax lot number so that we know where they’re located. And then, of course, the size of their home, what they plan to use in terms of appliances so that we can size things appropriately,” he said.
Frost said he and his wife will be moving to Homer by the end of this month and will stay in town until the project is completed. He said he expects work on the trunk line to be well underway by March 1.