TEXARKANA, Texas -- During a regular City Council meeting Monday, a representative of Summit Utilities said the company's recent purchase of local CenterPoint Energy natural gas assets will not result in a rate increase for residents.
There are no plans to change rates, said Kenny Henderson, Summit's director of governmental affairs. On Jan. 10, Summit announced its purchase of CenterPoint's gas distribution operations in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texarkana, Texas.
Residents are "going to see essentially the same rates that they're seeing today. What we're proposing is to keep the rates in Texarkana, Texas, the same," Henderson said.
He spoke during a public hearing on one of a pair of ordinances that would legally transfer the city's nautral gas franchise from CenterPoint to Summit and name Summit as the city's gas provider. Municipalities charge utility companies franchise fees in exchange for access to public land and infrastructure.
The Council will vote on approving the ordinances during its Feb. 14 meeting.
In other business, the Council voted unanimously to recognize the recently formed New Town Neighborhood Association. The group represents residents in the area south of College Drive, north of New Boston Road, east of Summerhill Road and west of Texas Boulevard.
"I am looking forward to having this association be a part of economic redevelopment, neighborhood revitalization, and a part of the community that can bring value to Texarkana," association member Steve Matlock said.
The Council will also vote on amending the city budget to account for a $30,000 grant from the Texas Recreation and Park Society and the National Fitness Campaign Committee.
City Sports Manager Ross Cowling showed a video by the National Fitness Campaign, which provides outdoor "fitness courts" with workout equipment available free to the public. Building such a space will not begin until the 2023 budget cycle, Cowling said.