City Council to meet Tuesday

The Big Spring City Council will meet Tuesday evening to discuss a number of agenda items, including an update on a settlement agreement between Atmos Energy Corporation's West Texas Division and the steering committee the city is currently participating in.The council approved final reading of a resolution denying a rate increase requested by Atmos Energy estimated at $11.6 million, a move City Finance Director Peggy Walker said would likely force the issue before the Texas Railroad Commission.The denial handed down by the city came after months of negotiations between Atmos and the municipality, according to Walker.“The company is requesting an $11.6 million increase. Our consultant found there is actually a decrease that could be substantiated,” Walker said following the council's denial, which was finalized in May. “As part of the steering committee, our city has been working diligently with the company to negotiate a settlement. However, for some reason the company does not seem to be willing to settle this case.“A lot of that deals with the fact that Amarillo and Lubbock have stand-alone rates, which are considerably lower rates than what our citizens pay. They are trying to maintain that stand-alone status.”The council is expected to get an update on the proposed rate increase during Tuesday's meeting.Also on Tuesday's agenda:• First reading of resolutions amanding and authorizing representatives empowered to transmit and withdraw funds from TexPool and TexSTAR.• Emergency reading of a resolution adopting a citizen complaint procedure and citizen participation plan as part of the Texas Community Development Block Grant Program application.• Award contract for engineering services as part of the Texas Department of Agriculture Grant Application for water system improvements.• First reading of an ordinance granting Atmos Energy certain franchise rights.• Approval of an agreement between the city and Parkhill, Smith & Cooper Inc. for professional services for the 2013 water distribution systems improvement project.Tuesday's meeting is to get under way at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located at 307 E. Fourth Street. Fore more information call 264-2401. Also, a complete copy of the meeting agenda can be found online at www.mybigspring.comContact Staff Writer Thomas Jenkins at 263-7331 ext. 232 or by e-mail at