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Bismarck to hold the line on natural gas prices

BISMARCK — The City is going to hold the line on its natural gas prices. Mayor Dennis Mayberry said the board of aldermen voted Thursday night to continue its policy of purchasing natural gas during the summer months and storing it in order to take advantage of lower pricing.

“This way when the winter months roll around and natural gas prices are at a premium, we already have it,” Mayberry said. “This allows us to pass on the savings to our residents. We haven’t raised our natural gas rates in years because of this practice.”

The board of aldermen amended the 2008-2009 fiscal budget to account for the expense of prepurchasing natural gas for next winter. Mayberry said the board also had to adjust the budget because of an increase in health insurance costs for city employees.

“We got hit with a $15,000 rate increase this year,” he said. “The overall budget is looking pretty good, but we are stretched in some areas.”

The board discussed a letter from the St. Francois County Joint Communications Center about pledging support for a grant. Mayberry said the board was not able to take action on the letter because the city didn’t receive the request until the day of the deadline.

“Because of that we could not respond,” Mayberry said.

The board approved sending Alan Williams to training in order to keep up his treatment plant operator’s license. The election results from Feb. 3 were certified. Bismarck voters approved a $2.5 million bond issue for a new wastewater treatment plant. More than 72 percent of the votes were in favor of the bond issue. The measure passed 109-42.

The proposed new wastewater treatment plant has an estimated price tag of $5.4 million. During the city’s campaign for the bond issue, officials told the public that in order to qualify for grants and government loans, the bond issue had to be passed.

The board has a special meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. today to meeting with engineers from Taylor Engineering to discuss the new plant.

In closed session the board approve adding Reggie Jaco as a reserve police officer.

Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

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