HERMISTON, Ore. (AP) — The city of Hermiston has voted to start a city-owned natural gas utility to run a line for industrial development south of the fast-growing city.

Officials say the action Monday by the City Council is a first step and could easily be reversed. It authorizes staffers to retain experts for a feasibility study.

East Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1tG7VRo ) reports that the city was startled to learn this spring from the regional utility company, Cascade Natural Gas, that a pipeline for the expanded DuPont Pioneer seed plant would cost $2.3 million, about five times the estimate two years ago.

A city utility adviser says an independent study supports the estimate. But the adviser says it might be worthwhile for the city to look into owning the line and reaping any profits.

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Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.info