BAINBRIDGE -- The town council of Bainbridge approved a motion to create a town hall meeting regarding an increase in utility gas prices.
By Indiana state code, the council must hold a public hearing and advertise the hearing before drafting or approving an ordinance in order to inform all citizens of the potential increase and discuss any concerns citizens may have.
The proposed rate increase would increase the base rate of a gas purchase by about $5 per month per household. This would still keep the town far below the averages of nearby town utilities such as Sycamore Gas Company and Indiana Natural Gas.
"The utility board has been looking at our gas utility rates the past few months," said Troy Elless, assistant utility superintendent. "After comparing [the rates] to other municipal gas utilities around, we are still well below the average."
The town has not had a rate increase since 1987 and the inflation since that time has unfortunately caught up to them, Elless said.
"The utilities are definitely in need of this," Clerk-Treasurer Jason Hartman said. "And this is on the base rate and not on consumption."
Because the town buys their needed gas for a year in advance, the decrease in the price of gas has helped keep prices down. Gas for 2011-12 also looks to be lower than last year's gas.
"We have had three good years where our gas prices have decreased," Hartman said.
The council has tentatively planned to have the pubic hearing before the next scheduled meeting.
Richard Cope, board president, elected Todd Bray to fill a vacancy in the Plan Commission. The motion to approve Bray to the commission passed 3-0.
Engineering for the Water Improvements Project is also underway. The project entails re-painting the water tower, installing new radio read meters, rehabilitating an existing 150,000 gallon elevated water storage tank, and improving the water treatment plant and data systems.
The Bainbridge Town Council meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the town hall.