Iowa Park to see natural gas increases

Iowa Park to see natural gas increases

IOWA PARK, TX (KAUZ) - Gas rates look to be going up in Iowa Park. 
However, not as much as they could have.
The city was able to negotiate a price with Atmos Energy so increases will not be as steep as proposed.
Those who use natural gas will see a slight spike on their bill beginning June 1st.
Atmos Energy proposed a $35.4 million additional revenue statewide.
It has been reduced to $29.9 million.
Jerry Flemming, Iowa Park City Manager, says it is Iowa Park's only choice.
    "The only provider of natural gas in Iowa Park is Atmos," Flemming said. "Because of that, they have a monopoly in the city. That is one reason why city government gets involved in their rates. Because of the monopoly, they cannot shop around." 
Flemming says that this is not an uncommon situation.
    "Generally when something like this happens, a number of cities will go ahead and pass resolutions at the time and question the rates," Flemming said. "At some point, the utility provider and city will get their negotiators, sit down at a table, and discuss what can be done and how it can be done."
The average residential increase will be $1.26 a month, a 2.43%  increase and $3.81 a month for commercial users, a 1.43% increase.
Why is it so important to Flemming and the city to limit the increase?
    "Our customers are our citizens in our case," Flemming says. "So we are here to represent them."
Flemming says other cities involved in the negotiations will need to pass this ordinance as well for it to begin June 1st.
Flemming also says the city is going through the same process with Oncor, their energy provider.
The two sides are trying to reach an agreement.

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