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National Grid gas program prompts complaints in East Hills

East Hills is getting its own villagewide gas

East Hills is getting its own villagewide gas program and National Grid has begun laying down more than 60,000 new feet of gas main. Crews work on Cardinal and Wren drives on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in East Hills. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A villagewide gas program in East Hills has prompted complaints of installation related damages to street curbs and sprinkler systems.

The project, a partnership with National Grid that launched in February, is an effort to convert hundreds of the village’s 2,287 homes from oil to gas, which officials said will benefit homeowners and the environment.

Village officials previously said that the majority of the installation would avoid digging up roadways and instead remove grass, a move that now appears to have side effects.

Installing gas mains through lawns has disturbed sprinkler heads and street curbs, Mayor Michael Koblenz said. About a dozen residents have contacted the village about damages, and Koblenz said the board has promised quick repairs.

Damage has been minimal, and Asplundh, National Grid’s subcontractor, will make all repairs, spokeswoman Wendy Ladd said.

The project, which has been done in phases, is nearing completion. About 80,000 feet of gas main will be installed by Memorial Day weekend. Service connections to homes will be finalized throughout the summer, Ladd said.

Village and utility officials lauded the program as the first of its kind on Long Island when it was announced. Previously, residents were charged $100 per foot to connect their homes to the closest gas line. Now, fees are waived for East Hills residents, and National Grid is covering costs of the installation.

Village officials have said that converting from home heating oil to gas will have major environmental, such as cleaner burning fossil fuels, and financial benefits. Trustee Manny Zuckerman has said that home heating bills could be halved, which would lead to thousands saved annually.

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