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Fairlawn locks in lowest gas aggregation prices in 11 years

6/19/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

Residents need to opt-in this year to receive special rate

During the June 16 Fairlawn City Council meeting, Mayor William Roth announced the city has locked in its lowest gas prices per thousand cubic feet (mcf) in more than a decade for those residents who choose to take part in the city’s gas aggregation plan.

“At this time of year, we start looking at prices for the natural gas aggregation,” he said. “We’ve been watching the prices for about four or five weeks, and long story short, we were able to successfully strike this week for a new gas rate. We are locked in for two years at $4.77 per mcf, and for seniors it’s $4.67.”

According to Roth, the price was so low that city officials wanted to make certain to get it for two years rather than the typical one-year deal.

“We are locked in for this year and next year at $4.77, and $4.67 for seniors,” the mayor said. “The gas prices won’t change until the end of the November bill.”

According to city officials, the prices for previous years in Fairlawn are as follows: $7.29 per mcf in 2003; $8.59 per mcf in 2004; $11.08 per mcf in 2005; $11.94 per mcf in 2006; $9.86 per mcf in 2007; $10.78 per mcf in 2008; $8.96 per mcf in 2009; $6.86 per mcf in 2010; $6.19 per mcf in 2011; $4.79 per mcf in 2012; and $4.94 per mcf in 2013.

Unlike the past few years, residents will have to choose to opt in to the city gas aggregation in order to get the new price.

“Normally, we don’t have to do anything, but it’s switching to a new gas provider, Constellation Energy, so this year everyone will have to opt in that wants to do it,” Roth said. “There is no cost to opt in, and we will continue to get more information out about that as we get closer.”

Roth said the goal of the aggregation is “always to give residents a choice.”

“If you find a better deal, you don’t hurt us,” he said. “But this at least gives you a benchmark to comparative shop.”

Also during the Council meeting, Roth announced former Fairlawn Police Chief Don Adams, 83, died June 14.

“My understanding is that the calling hours will be next Sunday and the funeral will be on Monday,” he said.

According to his obituary, his family will receive friends June 22 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Hummel Funeral Home, 500 E. Exchange St. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held June 23 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, 476 Mull Ave. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, 100 E. Waterloo Road.

Fairlawn’s current police chief, Kenneth Walsh, has been on the job for 17 years. He directly succeeded Adams, who was the chief for three years.

“He always told me how appreciative he was that he had those three years as the police chief,” Walsh said. “From the very start when I came here, he went out of his way to offer me any kind of guidance that I might need. Throughout the time that I have been here, he’s been probably the biggest supporter of the police department that you can find.”

Walsh described Adams as “a very patriotic man.”

“He served in the Korean War and he spent over 20 years with the FBI,” Walsh said. “He was also a very active member of the VFW. He will be missed.”

Roth said Fairlawn will lower all city flags to half staff June 18-23 to honor Adams.

In other business:

  • Council unanimously approved an ordinance accepting Liberta Construction’s $206,485 bid for the 2014 concrete slab replacement and storm water inlet repairs project.
    “We’ve had this same program for the last five or six years,” said Deputy Service Director Ernie Staten.
    Council President Russ Sharnsky (at large) said the program, which is scheduled to get under way after July 4, will include work in every ward of the city.
  • Law Director Ed Riegler said the city’s Charter Review Commission already has met twice to discuss possible changes to Fairlawn’s charter.
    “They met last Monday, June 9, for their organizational meeting, and they met this evening [June 16] at 5 p.m. for the first regular meeting,” he said. “They have two more meetings scheduled, one on July 7 at 5 p.m. and one on July 21 at 5 p.m.”
    The members of the Charter Review Commission were approved by Council during its June 2 meeting.
    The next Fairlawn City Council meeting is set for July 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Fairlawn City Hall, 3487 S. Smith Road. The next Committee-of-the-Whole meeting is scheduled for July 7 at 6 p.m. in City Hall.
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