)Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley entered anorder yesterday directing the City of Pontotoc to dispose of excess natural gas revenues in amanner that benefits the system’s 6,625 customers that are served in Pontotoc and Union County. The excess cash was accumulated over a period of years when the rates charged to
customers were not approved by the Public Service Commission. Pontotoc’s unrestricted cash balance in its natural gas operations is $2,871,464.Presley’s order specified only certain things that the accumulated funds could be spent on that
propose to be of benefit to the customers of the city’s natural gas system. Among the proposals for spending that were approved is $1,075,000 for the total replacement of all existing natural gas meters, which will save customers over $98,000 per year in operational costs. In an effort to bring natural gas to new customers, Presley approved $754,734 in spending for proposed natural gas expansion projects to Toccopola, Longview, Three Rivers Waste Authority and NewHope Road. Over 200 new customers will be served by these expansion projects.Presley allowed the city to retain $1,041,731 in cash reserves to meet operational expenses such as natural gas purchases, seasonal expenses, etc. Annually, Pontotoc shall file a statement with the PSC stating its available cash on hand.
Additionally, the city’s natural gas purchases and subsequent billing to customers will be audited by the Public Utilities Staff. “This order disposes of Pontotoc’s excess funds in a manner that best serves the city’s customers and the natural gas system for years to come and provides low and reasonable rates. Also I am proud that the funds will be used to bring natural gas service to rural areas that currently are without it.” Presley said.