MUNROE FALLS — Customers in the city’s natural gas aggregation program could soon be paying a lower rate for the utility.

The city has a natural gas supply agreement with Constellation Energy Services that runs through March 31, 2020. 

City Council on Tuesday voted 6-0 to authorize Mayor James Armstrong to extend the deal with Constellation until March 31, 2023 if Constellation "can offer a rate less than $3 [per] mcf for the extended term prior to Feb. 28, 2019," the legislation stated.

Armstrong said the rate of $3.247/mcf runs through April 2019.

"The new rate for the remaining term must be set in February, which is why it was important to have that legislation passed [Tuesday],"  Armstrong said. He added council’s approval of the legislation allows a consultant to work on negotiating a lower price for city customers.

The mayor explained city officials can either set a rate for the remaining 12 months of the current contract or "we can kind of extend and blend in an attempt to achieve a lower long-term rate."

"It appears it may be better for us to set a longer term rate based on the current natural gas prices," Armstrong said. "[Tuesday’s] legislation allowed us to do that."

The mayor added that council would need to approve the extended agreement.

Road salt supply update

Service Director Jim Bowery said his department used about 180 to 200 tons of road salt during the heavy winter storm of Jan. 19 and 20. He estimated the city has used 600 tons in the current winter season and added the municipality still has about 850 tons available.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.