LaFayette proposing 7.5-mile project for poultry farmers

LaFayette proposing 7.5-mile project for poultry farmers

March 21st, 2012 by Timara Frassrand in Walker

The city of LaFayette and local farmers may soon be teaming up on a project to help reduce costs for area poultry farmers.

As prices continue to rise, poultry farmers are searching for alternative methods to warm their chicken houses during the cooler seasons.

The proposed project would install natural gas lines over a 7.5-mile stretch which would service 28 chicken houses.

"The cost was estimated at $890,000, but there has been discussion that contractors could do it for less so the city wanted to go back and estimate the payment base charge," said City Manager Frank Etheridge.

The average price of natural gas propane is $1.74 a therm, while farmers pay 98 cents. The city is asking farmers to meet in the middle at a price of $1.33 to help cover expenses, and to use a portion of the $100 monthly chicken house fee to fund the project for the first six months.

Etheridge explained that it would take the city 22 years to fund the project on its own, which is a long time in comparison to the number of houses and miles the project will cover.

"Growers have different options, but both parties need to come to a decision to make financial sense for both the city and the growers," Etheridge said.

If the poultry farmers agree to these terms, the natural gas would be in place by the next heating season this September.