During last night’s Bowman City Council meeting for the month of October, the council discussed the possibility of raising the city’s natural gas rates to help make up for lost revenue in the gas department.
Councilman Ben Rice said that the gas department can not be sustained by the city’s general fund.
“In the month of July there was $5,000 transferred from the general fund, to the gas department, and the gas department is still losing money. The general fund can not continue to fund the gas department as far as I can see”, said Rice.
Originally the recommended rate increase was to be a permanent increase, but after discussion, the council agreed with a unanimous vote to approve a temporary rate increase for a six month period ending in April 2013.
The new rates show the current usage rate, which is measure per one thousand cubic feet, increasing to an even four dollars, up fifty cents from three dollars and fifty cents. The council also agreed to increase the meter fee from nine dollars to twelve dollars.
Councilman Pete Gibbons said that simply raising rates will not be a viable long term solution for the city.
“If ya’ll want to go with his recommendation that is fine; provided that we keep going forward and try to create revenue for the city. We have to find other ways instead of just raising rates”, said Gibbons.
Bowman City Mayor Pamela Johnson said that exploring other possible revenue streams will be a top priority during November’s Bowman City Council Work Session.