Effective July 1 Columbia’s townsfolk will have to accept gas service rate increases.
The second reading of a residential and commercial gas fee ordinance was presented during a special called board meeting held by the City Council on Tuesday.
Dr. Ronald P. Rogers’ favorite phrase during the special called meeting was, “We are not raising the gas rates.”
Councilor Craig Dean chimed in commenting “Media you got that. Your gas bill is not going to double.”
What this media understands, however, according to the council’s approved ordinance no. 610.71 section 1, the minimum gas bill will increase from $6 a month to $12 per month.
Residents will pay the current total of $100 for meter deposits. Commercial meter deposits will stay at the current lowest rate or decrease.
Larger commercial customers will benefit with the new meter deposit rate modifications. Now businesses pay a set fee of $100. The new system does not measure by usage of cubic feet per hour as formerly measured before ordinance approval.
Formerly, meter deposits were determined by cubic feet per hour. Businesses with less than 400 cubic feet per hour would pay $100, 400-1000 cubic feet per hour pay $250, and more than 1000 cubic feet per hour pay $400.
Service calls have increased from $25 to a $30 charge per service call. The increase was added by the council to help cover the cost of driving to locations following the service calls, maintaining company vehicles and paying for employee assistance.
The price to become a new gas customer will increase from $100 to $250, and commercial businesses from $100 to $350. The added hookup fees for the gas tap fees include 100 feet of one inch of pipe. Residents are responsible for any additional charges of exceeding the prearranged 100 feet.
According to the City of Columbia’s 2013-2014 fiscal budgets, the city should have a remaining balance of $2,520,771 in the gas fund. The budget includes the projected gas rate increases in this end of year balance.
The City Council will meet during the scheduled monthly meeting on Monday, July 1, at 6 p.m.
By Danielle Bennett