County officials are considering whether to convert county-owned buildings from coal to natural gas when the city brings natural gas to Nephi.

"Coal is cheaper than gas," said Golden Mangelson, director of the gas project for Nephi city. However, he said, the county would no longer have to worry about filling the coal bin and keeping the furnace stoked. Gas is a much cleaner fuel."Coal takes much, much more care," said Mangelson.

The boiler now being used is in bad shape. In fact, he said, the boiler is in such poor condition the county might consider replacing the system with a propane-fired furnace and boiler and then converting to gas next summer when the gas line is expected to be in place.

Juab County commissioners agreed to have Bob Day, custodian at the county center, find out how much it would cost to replace the county's antiquated coal furnace and boiler with a gas system. They hope to baby the present system through the winter but would like to replace it.

Juab County Commission Chairman Joseph Bernini said that because of environmental issues, it is likely the county will no longer use coal. The county is interested in converting to a gas system if it is feasible, he said.

The county provides heat for the city buildings from the master heating plant. Therefore, said Randy McKnight, the city would be interested in some sort of cost-sharing plan. "All we are saying is that here's an issue that collectively we need to start studying," said McKnight.