Colleyville approve settlement with Atmos Energy Corp., new gas utility rates for residents and businesses

On Sept. 17, Colleyville City Council approved a negotiated settlement with gas distributor Atmos Energy Corp. that would increase gas utility rates effective Oct. 1.

Colleyville citizens will not be the only ones to see a rise in rates. Those in about 170 other Mid-Texas cities will experience similar upticks.

The settlement was between the Atmos Mid-Texas Division and a coalition of cities the gas distributor serves. This coalition is known as the Atmos Cities Steering Committee—of which Grapevine and Southlake are also members, according to the committee’s website.

The committee works with Atmos to evaluate the company’s annual rate increase request through a special review process called the rate review mechanism, or RRM, Colleyville Assistant City Manager Adrienne Lothery said.

“Using the RRM process is to the advantage of rate-payers, and the cities’ involvement ultimately helps...keep those rate increase requests to a minimum,” Lothery said at the Sept. 17 meeting.

Essentially, Lothery said, Atmos claimed it was justified in requesting additional systemwide revenues of $70 million based on its data from 2018.

That $70 million was reduced to $54 million through the RRM process. Of that $54 million, it was claimed that the steering committee cities were responsible for $39.3 million, Lothery said. After negotiations, that figure was dropped to $35.4 million.

“The financial impact on the average residential bill is an increase of $2.05 on a monthly basis, or about 3.7%,” Lothery said.

The average commercial consumer would see an increase of $6.18, according to meeting documents. The new rates would be consistent for all cities in the coalition, Lothery said in an email. Each city will have to vote whether to approve or deny the settlement.

Southlake City Council recently approved the settlement at its Sept. 3 meeting, and it will be an agenda item at Grapevine City Council’s Oct. 1 meeting, officials said.

“The settlement supports investment of over $519 million of total capital investment made in the Mid-[Texas] system with over $408 million spent on improving system safety and reliability,” Atmos Public Affairs Manager Kelly Biegler said in an email.

In 2018, Atmos replaced 290 miles of distribution pipes and more than 16,000 steel service lines, Biegler said in her email. The higher rates are needed, she said, to make these necessary investments.

If the coalition had rejected Atmos’s request and the two parties had not agreed to a settle, the rate increase may have been higher, Lothery said. Atmos could then have appealed to the Texas Railroad Commission—the regulatory authority of the gas industry—and received a much higher amount.

“In my opinion, it’s to the benefit of citizens and rate-payers that the cities are involved in this process because their annual rate increase would be far higher were we not involved,” Lothery said.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT






Grapevine Main Street usually bustles with activity. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grapevine chamber to host webinar on small business loans, new relief package

The Grapevine Chamber of Commerce is hosting an online webinar on how to qualify and apply for Small Business Administration’s Economic Disaster Loan 1 p.m. March 30.

Collin County Judge Chris Hill announced a stay-at-home order March 24 to limit the spread of the coronavirus. (Emily Davis/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATED: How DFW entities are addressing shelter-in-place status

Many entities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex have issued stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

While the agency is still tallying the number of unemployment insurance claims filed thus far in March, in the week prior to March 25, at least 150,000 claims had been filed. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Official: Increase in calls for statewide unemployment benefits is ‘almost vertical’

According to Serna, on an average day the Texas Workforce Commission’s four call centers statewide receive 13,000-14,000 calls; on March 22, the agency received 100,000 calls regarding unemployment insurance benefit inquiries.

Local police departments are receiving more calls related to what activities are permissible under Tarrant County’s executive order to stay at home. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Q&A: Local police departments field calls concerning Tarrant County’s stay-at-home order

The Grapevine and Colleyville police departments are receiving more calls related to what activities are permissible under Tarrant County’s executive order to stay at home.

Source: Small Business Administration/Community Impact Newspaper
How North Texas small businesses can apply for economic disaster loans

For small business owners seeking disaster loans during the coronavirus pandemic, local financial aid organizers have one clear message: apply immediately.

The Legacy Willow Bend staff members wear their homemade masks. (Courtesy The Legacy Willow Bend)
How businesses, community members are stepping up across the metroplex

Across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, businesses and community members are stepping up to support health care professionals and high-risk individuals in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

Businesses on Grapevine's Main Street are connecting with each other and brainstorming new ways of doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Graphic by Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grapevine Main Street businesses band together during coronavirus crisis

On any given day, Grapevine Main Street is usually bustling with tourists coming into town or passengers on layovers from the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

Efforts to help people in need have been created or have adjusted to continue helping in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (Courtesy North Texas Cares, Joseph Haubert)
How to help: A list of efforts to assist those in need in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

As businesses, nonprofits and community members feel the weight of new coronavirus pandemic, efforts to help people in need have been created or have adjusted to continue helping during this time.

Carroll ISD will offer discounted rates on its preschool program while schools are closed. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Carroll ISD offers discounted tuition rates for online Pre-K program

Parents enrolled in the Carroll ISD prekindergarten program will receive a 50% discount on tuition in light of school closures due to the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Gov. Greg Abbott so far has not issued a similar order statewide(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
President Trump declares major disaster in Texas due to coronavirus

The declaration came as several Texas cities, including Houston, have issued stay-at-home orders.

Ken Schnitzer of Park Place Dealerships will maintain ownership of 14 of his dealerships, including two in Grapevine. (Courtesy Park Place Dealerships)
Ken Schnitzer will retain ownership of Park Place Dealerships, including two in Grapevine

Asbury Automotive Group has canceled its plans to purchase Park Place Dealerships, Park Place founder and Chairman Ken Schnitzer announced March 25.

Back to top