Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Gas line issue sets back new business in Muskogee

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MUSKOGEE, Okla. — A Muskogee couple, working to open a new business by this summer, is facing a major setback.

The gas line in front of their shop isn’t deep enough to build their driveway, and the estimate to fix the issue is costly.

“We’re needing to move it 24 feet, but they’re wanting us to absorb the cost to move it 350 feet,” said Floyd Durossette.

Floyd Durossette is frustrated as he works to open an optometry business with his wife in Muskogee.

“The need is there,” said Durossette. “Let’s build it and let’s take care of our community.”

Back in February, they started to dig out the driveway of the business, and hit a gas line.

They realized the 10-inch main line wasn’t deep enough and needed to be lowered so they could build their driveway.

They reached out to Oklahoma Natural Gas for help.

“They said that was our responsibility and that would be our cost,” said Durossette.

The gas company said the full cost of the project was $52,303. Their portion would be $19,911.

The cost floored Durossette.

“Will we be able to grow our community when our mom-and-pop businesses can’t afford to absorb those kinds of costs,” said Durossette.

Durossette said the estimate is for roughly 350 feet of gas line. His driveway is only 24 feet of that.

“I was astonished,” said Durossette. “I asked why we were responsible for 350 feet for lowering of it and I did not get an answer. I asked if they could just lower the 24 feet we needed and their words were absolutely not.”

While we don’t comment on specific customer accounts, in situations like these, we want our customers to know we’re committed to finding the best and most affordable solution to meet the needs of the request.

We recognize that the cost of having a natural gas line lowered can be a significant consideration for our customers. That’s why we explore alternatives like extending the line entirely, which can often be a more cost-effective option. Any customer charges for work on our natural gas facilities are regulated within our tariffs.

We’re here to support our customers through these types of requests and encourage them to contact us directly with any questions or concerns they may have.

Oklahoma Natural Gas

“Construction costs are huge after COVID,” said Durossette. “All the costs of materials went up by at least 20%. Adding this to the cost, it’s huge.”

He says they initially planned to open up shop this summer but at this point that time frame is unlikely.

The plans for his business and driveway were approved by the city, but they may have to explore other options to get the doors open.

“I’m in for a long fight,” said Durossette. “I’ll do what it takes to get this open for our community.”

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