City denies Atmos Energy rate change

May 9, 2012

Sweetwater City Commission monthly meeting held at City Hall (shown) on Tuesday morning, May 8, 2012

The City Commission met for their monthly meeting on Tuesday morning, May 8, 2012 at City Hall.
Three bids were opened for construction on the 2011 TCDBG (Texas Community Development Block Grant Program) sewer improvement project. Two of the three bids were from San Angelo companies, while the third was from a Waco-based business.
Each company offered a total bid and alternate bid; the prices range from around $229,000 to $316,000. John Voller with Hibbs/Todd was at the meeting to review the bids, in which one will be presented for recommendation at the Commission Budget Workshop--which was reported by City Manager Eddie Brown as taking place on Thursday morning, May 10, 2012 and will start at 8 a.m. at the Sweetwater Water Treatment Plant training room.
In addition, approval was given toward the adoption of a resolution for the city--as part of a steering committee--to deny the requested rate change from Atmos Energy Corp.
The corporation is looking at a 13.6% increase for residential areas and a fixed monthly rate of $18--in comparison to the current $7.50 price. Unless an agreement is made, the matter will be presented to the Texas Railroad Commission.
Also regarding Atmos, the commission adopted another resolution which authorizes continued participation with the Atmos Cities Steering Committee. A payment of five cents per capita--around $500--will be given to stay with the committee, which boasts a united power in contesting rate hikes from the company.
The commission also approved the authorization of advertising for bids on a vehicle for the new police chief, Brian Frieda. Frieda had bequeathed former chief Jim Kelley's vehicle, which was described as an older vehicle with high mileage.
Formally introduced to the commission, City Manager Brown noted that they will be looking for a long-lasting SUV in the $27,000 range with specific characteristics to meet the needs of Chief Frieda.
Furthermore, another resolution was adopted, appointing the mayor pro-tems for the city and prescribing the terms. The minutes from the meetings held on April 10 and April 17 were additionally approved.
Also, a fifteen-minute executive session meeting took place. Following the closed meeting, the commission approved the ratification of various oil and gas leases for city owned property located outside of the county.
Brown briefly gave his monthly City Manager's Report as well, noting that commissioners Jim McKenzie and Dr. Jerod Peek--representing Precincts 2 and 4, respectively--will be sworn into office during the city commission meeting in June, as they cannot take the oath of office until after the May 12 election date.
Conflict of disclosure statements of local government officers were given to the commissioners for discussion and review and, if necessary, should be filed with the city secretary. A very short SNAP building update was also given, in that tentative plans will be discussed at Thursday's budget retreat.

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