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New gas supplier may need residents

March 27, 2014
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

At last week's Canfield City Council meeting, city manager Joe Warino explained the new gas rates and supplier.

According to Warino, gas prices were on the rise, but he feels the city got a decent deal. There are three companies involved in the switch to a new gas supplier, Warino said. The first is Buckeye Energy, who is the city's consultant on the aggregation program for natural gas and electric. The second is the current gas supplier. Direct Energy. and the third is the new supplier. Volunteer Energy.

The current price for natural gas is .527 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas. The new rate will be .54 cents per 100 cubic feet, which Warino said is a decent rate considering the price hikes from the long cold spell over the winter. The big issue is for those who may need to opt in to the new supplier.

''Those who were in the program from the beginning need do nothing,'' he said. ''They will automatically be enrolled in the Volunteer Energy program.''

Warino said those who opted out of the program at the beginning then opted back in later will have to opt back in again if they want to stay on the city's program. Warino said it affects roughly 500 resident customers and each will be sent a letter stating what they need to do. They will have a 30-day period to opt in as will be explained in the letter.

While the gas prices were set for residents, the city also has to look at road salt, according to Warino. Due to shortages in salt this year, Ohio Department Of Transportation wants entities to bid through October, then bid a second time from October through next May. Warino said there is still some salt the city has yet to receive under the January order. He said the goal is to get the bin three-fourths loaded since there are no guarantees at this point for the rest of this year. He will present a resolution at the next meeting regarding the state salt purchasing agreement for 2014.

In other business council:

* Unanimously approved rezoning lot 6872 on West Main Street from R-2 single family residence to B-1 Village Green commercial and S special district;

* Heard a request for water bill forgiveness from a Montridge Drive resident who experienced a higher than normal bill from a leaking toilet;

* Heard from council president Steve Rogers who said the design review board approved the building design for Advanced Auto Parts who will be constructing a new store on Manor Hill Drive.

* Heard from resident Frank Micchia, who addressed council regarding the Red Gate Farm purchase of May of 2003. Micchia said, in his opinion, the spending of $2.3 million to buy it should have been done in public. He added that he felt it was time to get rid of the property since no link to annex it has been established. Micchia also asked how the city attorney was selected in regards to a motion to re-appoint Mark Fortunato to the position. Councilman Chuck Tieche responded by saying, ''If you got someone who does a competent job, you don't change just for the sake of change.''



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