A firm told the Houston City Council on Monday that it is studying whether to bring natural gas to Houston.

An official with a natural gas company told the Houston City Council that it will begin solicitations to judge interest in bringing the product to Houston.

Dave Moody, CEO of Southern Missouri Natural Gas, told the council it would begin work to determine interest in natural gas. Moody’s firm serves several communities in southwest Missouri, including Cabool. The firm earlier said it was bringing natural gas here, but those plans never materialized as the firm set its sights on the cities of Lebanon, Branson and Hollister.

Moody’s presentation was among several heard by the council.

Kathy Richardson, a member of Downtown Houston Inc., outlined plans for the city to participate in the Ozark Natural Heritage project.

The National Heritage Area (NHA) program is a federal effort, but it is different because it is not controlled from Washington, D.C. Instead, each NHA is run by local citizens who volunteer to join the program to preserve the area’s history.

The National Park Service promotes the NHA on its website, but does not own or operate the heritage area.

Every new National Heritage Area is signed into law, and includes a private property protection clause. This law means that the National Heritage Area cannot force people into the program and cannot take private property. Participation in the program is completely voluntary.

A local group has been meeting to work on the project. Efforts can be through programs that preserve stories for future generations, classes that let children learn about folk music, local crafts and the special things that make the Ozarks a great place to live, or through heritage tourism which allows visitors to experience the “real” Ozarks bringing economic benefit to the entire region.

TCMH CEO Wes Murray presented plans for a major expansion to TCMH. (See related story elsewhere). Murray was encouraged to have architects and engineers to work directly with city department heads to coordinate needs.

In other matters, members:

-Approved a $3,500 expenditure for a used dump truck for the state’s surplus property program.

-Okayed a $13,147 expenditure with a Springfield firm for needed supplies for a project that will improve the city’s water system in an area near Miller’s Grill. The line also will extend east and west utilizing a previous bore under U.S. 63.

-Turned down a request from Ozark Green Recycling for an $800 monthly stipend to operate the center on East Highway 17. The city operates it own recycling curbside service.

-Were presented a preliminary budget for 2011. Final approval is expected Dec. 6.




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