Like reluctant suitors, Mona, Levan and Juab County are being coy about whether or not to join with Nephi and bring natural gas to residents.

Nephi officials opted in favor of the utility, and Mona officials must decide by Nov. 1 whether or not they will join in.The Mona town board voted unanimously to send out a questionnaire to all residents to determine how many residents will add natural gas appliances to their homes. The reply deadline was last week, and the results will be reported to Nephi City by the Nov. 1 deadline. If enough interest is shown, a public meeting will be held.

The board must also decide whether to establish its own distribution system or have Nephi service the town through its distribution system.

Nephi Mayor Robert Steele and Golden Mangelson, project manager, told members of the Mona Town Board that the Nephi project is a "definite go." Mangelson said how Nephi goes about bringing gas into the county may depend, in part, on whether Mona decides to participate.

Mangelson said it would be more economical for Nephi to bring gas to the community by running the gas line through Salt Creek Canyon from Sanpete County. But if Mona and Juab County are interested in the utility, he said, it would be better to bring the gas line from Payson in Utah County.

Mangelson said using the Payson route would allow Juab County residents along the way to hook up to the utility and would make it less expensive for Mona to participate.

It would cost $2.4 million to build a line to service the east end of Juab County. Mona and Levan would each need to put in $200,000, Juab County would need to put in $600,000 and Nephi City would assume the bulk of the cost at $1.2 million.

If either Mona or Juab County choose not to participate, then costs for all the remaining members will increase.

It would cost Mona another $400,000 for distribution line costs, said Mangelson.

"My personal opinion is that if Levan and Mona don't get gas on this go-round, they will be a long time getting service," Mangelson said.