• September 21, 2019

Residents to see higher gas, solid waste rates - Odessa American: City Of Odessa

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Residents to see higher gas, solid waste rates

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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 5:02 pm

Atmos Energy, a Dallas-based natural gas distribution company, is filing for a rate increase for their West Texas division, Assistant City Manager Phillip Urrutia said. They had initially proposed a $6.23 million increase to customers in West Texas cities, which was later negotiated down to a $4.7 million increase.

“This increase will go into effect on Oct. 1,” Urrutia said. “A typical resident would see a $2.48 increase to their bill on average.”

While natural gas prices are at historic lows, Urrutia said Atmos is increasing rates due to the company planning on investing about $3.4 million into capital improvement projects related to replacing gas lines, as well as salary increases.

The city will also look to increase their solid waste rates. Assistant City Manager Cindy Muncy said this increase would help to cover the rising costs of equipment and maintenance in the city’s solid waste department.

“We’re proposing a 2.5 percent increase across the board,” Muncy said. “If this is approved, it will become effective Oct. 1 and will be reflected on November bills.”

This increase amounts to about a $0.50 increase to residential bills, Muncy said. For multi-family residences it’s about a $0.26 increase. It’s a larger increase for commercial properties, about a $5 increase for some, and also for properties outside the city limits. Residences and commercial buildings outside the city limits would see about a $2 increase, which Muncy said was due to these buildings being billed at a higher rate.

Muncy said this was the first rate increase for solid waste in three years. No increases to water and sewer rates are currently shown.

It’s also worth noting again property taxes will be higher come Oct. 1 as well. While that isn’t seeing a rate increase, keeping the rate at $0.476601 per $100 valuation, the appraisal values of city properties skyrocketed this year. Muncy previously said there would be a $68 increase for the year in property taxes for the average home value, evaluated to be $144,018.

Two public hearings will be held for the proposed tax rate at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Sept. 10, before the final two votes are held to establish the rate Sept. 23 and Sept. 24.

Odessa, TX

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