The price the City of Eldorado pays for natural gas is going up and that cost will be passed through to the city’s gas customers.

Nothing is official until the city council holds hearings on matter, but council members voted Tuesday night, October 13th, to support a $10 increase in the city’s base rate. The current $24 base rate will increase to $34 for which customers will receive 2,000 cubic feet (2 mcf) of natural gas. The cost of each additional mcf will increase from $1 to $2.

The council proposed to enact ordinance #101-12, which, when enacted, would put the new rates into effect.

The impetus for the rate increase was the agreement the city council reached with West Texas Gas (WTG) in August to connect to a pipeline south of town, instead of relying on gas from the Huldale Gas Plant, which is slated for closure.

The city received its first billing from WTG, totaling $7,453.38. That includes a $3.75 per mcf charge to help pay for making the connection to the Kinder Morgan pipeline south of town.

The city’s deal with WTG called for the installation of 4,200 feet of 6-inch polypipe in order to connect to an abandoned Questa pipeline which, in turn, would connect to Kinder Morgan so that processed gas can be transported to the city’s gas plant on U.S. 190 East.

WTG agreed to pay $475,000 to proceed with the infrastructure upgrade. In return, the City of Eldorado will pay $3.75 per mcf above the cost of gas in order to repay WTG. It is expected to take three years to pay for the upgrade.

It has been explained that the upgrade was necessary since propane gas is banned inside the city limits, and the cost of converting everyone inside the city to propane gas would far exceed WTG’s cost.

It should be noted that the prices outlined above, are for customers who live inside the city limits. Customers outside the city limits will also be paying more.

Approving the proposal were council members Vicki Farmer, Wayne McGinnes, Danny Halbert, Mack Redish, Felipe Pina and Mayor George Arispe. Council member Oscar Martinez was absent.