By Chuck Davidson
The Chester Gas System & City of Chester's council met on Monday Feb. 5 to discuss and act upon several important issues. Entergy's Sam Bethea updated them on their current franchise agreement which ends in March and after discussion, all approved a new 25-year agreement which keeps the same gas fee intact. This fee generates some income to the city based on amount of gas used by its 85 customers. The new agreement begins March 28 and does include an incremental fee clause, which the current council declines to use. Mayor Floyd Petri emphasized that this should not be confused with the recent changes in gas rates and installation fees approved by council: they were changed due to increased costs for gas.
One position on City Council remains vacant after the last election. Anyone living within the city limits who is interested in serving can contact the mayor or anyone at City Hall.
The mayor also updated the board on the NIMS (emergency) training which can be done online and encouraged all to do so.
Guest Mike Davis asked about number of past due gas accounts and the recent changes to the basic charge and installation fees.
Since this was on the agenda, the current policy was discussed and the listing of 28 customers was reviewed. Past due notices are sent out monthly and once any account is more than 60 days past due, the service can be turned off.
The mayor mentioned that some vandalism had recently occurred at the city park and that the city will take legal action if a suspect is identified.
Related to the park and use of city facilities, the council reviewed current policy. Facilities can be rented at city hall. Renters pay $100 clean-up deposit and an electrical fee (if appropriate), and may be given a key if the event takes place outside of regular business hours.
The new Employee Handbook was presented and approved as revised after several months of consideration.