Alice City Leaders Address Natural Gas Increase Proposal

Alice City Manager Questions Timing of Rate Increase.

ALICE–A proposed natural gas hike of more than 20 percent in Alice has city leaders concerned and they plan to fight the rate increase with the state agency overseeing it.

Center Point Energy wrote a letter to the City of Alice last month stating it wanted to raise the natural gas prices because it hadn’t done so in five years. They also cited in the letter they have invested $30 million in the natural gas system infrastructure in South Texas and have seen reduction in usage by customers.

Although timing at a Center Point’s discretion, one must certainly pause to consider the timing of this letter of intent and wonder if there was a hope that the issue would quietly pass through city halls and be ignored because of vacations and time off usually associated with visiting family and friends during the Holiday season.” said Ray De Los Santos, the Alice City Manager. 

If this rate hike is passed onto city customers, it would impact more than 3,600 residents and 300 businesses who still primarily use natural gas.

Center Point estimates the increase will be nearly $4 for the average customer. It would increase its revenue from Alice customers by more than $200,000 for the year.

The City of Alice has until Friday to decide if it will protest the rate increase with the Texas Railroad Commission and join an alliance of six cities who are fighting Center Point Energy on the proposed hike.

So in a special meeting set for Thursday at 6:30 pm, city leaders will vote on both measures.     

–Manuel De La Rosa, South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

For more stories in the South Texas Tribune, go to the following link:

http://southtexastribune.com/STT/Home/Home.html

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