The Pryor Times

Local News

November 24, 2012

Chouteau shops for new gas vendor

CHOUTEAU — The main topic at Chouteau’s November Public Works Authority meeting was the town’s gas vendor.

Last December, the Chouteau PWA decided to switch to Clearwater gas company to provide gas to town residents.

“He (representative of Clearwater) sold us a bill of goods,” Mayor Jerry Floyd said. Floyd claimed that Clearwater sent him a letter promising $3.97 per decatherm of gas. During the past year, Floyd said the PWA was paying up to $14 per decatherm.

“It was high... We took a beating on it,” Floyd said.

David Miller of Constellation Energy spoke to the PWA about becoming a the gas vendor to the town. Miller told the PWA that Constellation is the oldest utility company in America, founded in 1868 in Baltimore, Md. Constellation recently acquired One Oak Energy Marketing. Miller came to Constellation when it acquired One Oak.

Miller talked about Index pricing to lock in a rate with the town. “I can’t imagine 14-dollar gas in this market in the last 12 months. I can promise you that’s not going to happen.” Miller went on to say he can’t understand why the town was charged so much for gas.

PWA attorney Ben Sherrer said the reason the town spent so much money on gas was due to the lack of need. The PWA bought a fixed amount of gas from Clearwater, did not use all of it and had to sell it back to Clearwater at a loss to the PWA. Clearwater’s contract with Chouteau ends the last day of December.

Constellation wants to bid for Chouteau’s PWA contract and will make an offer at next month’s meeting.

The PWA approved the annual financial statement and independent auditor’s report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.

The PWA approved payment to Anne Elfrink, Certified Public Accountant for her audit of the PWA. The amount paid was $3,200.

The PWA accepted the letter of intent from Anne Elfrink, to do the 2013 audit.

The PWA renewed Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health Insurance at a grandfather rate of -1.6% effective Jan. 1, 2013.

The PWA approved the 2013 holiday schedule.

The PWA approved the 2013 meeting schedule.

The Christmas dinner for PWA employees will be Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. Employees are encouraged to bring a side dish for the dinner.

The PWA approved Christmas bonuses of $150 for full-time employee and $75 for part-time employee.

Superintendent John Crowson said the water tank has been cleaned.

Under new business, Floyd said the PWA has been approved by the Water Resource Board to take over bond payments for the waste water treatment plant. At 2.6 percent interest, Floyd said the savings to the PWA will be $5,000 a month. Over a period of 20 years, savings will be $1,750,000.

Interest on the bonds is close to five percent. Floyd said he  worked on this deal for the past year and  it was the best thing he has done all the time he has been mayor.

“I’m very proud of that,” Floyd said.


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