Mesquite takes step toward progress with natural gas service

Natural gas, a household convenience most of us take for granted, has finally reached Mesquite. The service was made viable by the community’s growth, and is expected to make Mesquite even more attractive to business developers going forward. With a population now over 20,000, Southwest Gas is expanding service with a multi-million dollar investment in infrastructure and 40 miles of new pipelines over the next several years.

With the ceremonial turn of a wrench, natural gas began flowing through new pipes, making “Danielle‘s Chocolates and Popcorn” on West Pioneer Blvd. the first Southwest Gas customer in Mesquite. “It doesn’t seem like it should’ve taken so long to get natural gas. We’ve got everything here,” said Danielle Atkinson, owner of Danielle’s Chocolates. “We have all the conveniences that you’d expect, but natural gas was not one of those.”

Bringing natural gas to Mesquite was also made possible by legislative involvement in a process that began almost a decade ago. Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick said, “we started working on this in 2011, talking about how they needed gas out here. I was in the legislature at the time. In 2013, now-Majority Leader Atkinson and I sponsored a bill to allow Southwest Gas the ability to do that.”

Southwest Gas says work the pipeline and infrastructure will create 300 jobs, and it will be the catalyst for even more growth in Mesquite. Southwest Gas CEO & President John Hester said, “if a community does have natural gas, they find out it does foster increased (business) interest in the community.” Mesquite Mayor Allan Litman agrees. “It’s a total game changer in Mesquite. It’s going to get us new business, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Natural gas is currently being brought into Mesquite with a so-called virtual pipeline. That means natural gas is being trucked in to a storage facility. But, over the next several years, Southwest Gas will build a 14 mile long transmission line to connect Mesquite to the Kern River pipeline and grow from there.

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