Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy joined public officials and Yankee Gas leaders in Wilton to launch a natural gas expansion project in the Fairfield County town and statewide.

Wilton, about 55 miles northeast of New York City, becomes the first Connecticut municipality to partner with a utility through Malloy's comprehensive energy strategy, the governor said in an Aug. 4 statement.

That plan, which lawmakers approved, calls for an expansion of the state's natural gas distribution systems to provide more residents and businesses with the opportunity to choose natural gas.

The Wilton gas expansion project involves the installation of a 3.5-mile underground pipeline along existing roads to connect natural gas to Wilton's downtown business district, municipal buildings, the Middlebrook, Comstock and Cider Mill Schools, the Comstock Community Center, and Wilton High School.

Wilton's Energy Commission estimates that by converting to natural gas, the town will save roughly $500,000 annually in energy costs.

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