Cadiz may see change in natural gas provider
by Franklin Clark -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Jul 15, 2009 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cadiz City Council, at its meeting on the evening of Tuesday, July 7 at Cadiz City Hall, approved on first reading an ordinance that would create an offer for sale of a new natural gas franchise.

During the meeting, at which representatives of Atmos Energy, Cadiz’s current natural gas supplier, were present, Cadiz City Clerk Lisa Rogers read the ordinance that was said to be “in the best interests of the citizens of Cadiz.”

Tim Owen, an operations manager for Atmos Energy, said they hoped the council might consider lengthening the term of the contract to 10 years, as opposed to the 5-year contract they currently have, one that expires in November. He also said that typically, these franchises used to last 20 years.

City Council Member Susan Bryant said that probably wouldn’t be an option the council would be interested in.

The ordinance states that the natural gas company will pay the city an annual sum equal to 1 percent of gross receipts, which Owen referred to as a “pass-through” expense, meaning it will passed down to the customer.

Of the 64 franchises Atmos Energy has in Kentucky, 46 of them pay local government a percentage of gross receipts, Owen said. “We’ve seen most of our franchises move to 1 percent,” he said.

Cadiz is still on the per-meter system, according to Owen.

Bids will be accepted in writing at Cadiz City Hall by 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27, and the sealed bids will be publicly opened and read the following morning at 9 a.m., and then presented at the first city council meeting after the bid deadline for the council’s consideration and approval.

In other council actions, the proposed planning and zoning fee schedule for building permits will have to go back to the drawing board after it failed to garner enough votes. The proposed fee schedule shows residential dwellings for the first 2,000 square feet under roof at $200 and for non-residential structures at $250.

Additionally, for residential structures more than 2,000 square feet, after the first 2,000 square feet, it is $0.06 per square foot, or $0.03 per square foot for unfinished basements, and $50 for under roof or additional structures set on a concrete foundation.

For non-residential structures over 2,000 square feet, it would be $0.08 per square foot after the first 2,000 square feet, and $100 for additions or additional structures.

Rogers said the Cadiz-Trigg County Planning Commission felt that it’s unfair for someone building a house to pay the same amount as someone who is building something like the new Trigg County Judicial Center.

The city clerk also said that a problem is people starting their construction projects with getting a permit first and getting too close to the property lines. The proposed fee schedule would impose a 100 percent late charge, in addition to the normal fee, not to be less than $50 and not to exceed $500.

When and if the fee schedule is passed, no permits will be issued until a site sketch of the proposed structure showing the distance from property lines to the edges of the building is given to the city, Rogers added.

A motion was made to pass the proposed fee schedule, with Council Members Bob Noel and Bryant voting for it, Council Member Frankie Phillips voting against it and Council Member Regina Wilkerson-Jasper abstaining.

Council Members Manual Brown and Todd King were not at the meeting, so the motion failed, since the majority of the quorum did not vote in favor.

In other council business, a motion made by Bob Noel to accept a bid from Rogers Group to supply asphalt for the city for $51.25 per ton was passed unanimously.

Additionally, Bryant asked that the part of the city’s business license tax ordinance relating to vendor lists be added to the agenda for the council’s next meeting, and it was agreed that it will be discussed.
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