Gas customers in Hulbert may soon see an increase in their service cost.
A savings transfer of $120, 000 was approved during the regular board of trustees monthly meeting on Thursday to correct the debt service ratio held with the investment banking and wealth management firm WellsNelson & Associates LLC. Gas sales revenue losses since 2010 have brought the city’s debt covenant below the needed 11.25 percent, said Lloyd McClendon, representing the Tulsa Wells Nelson & Associates office. Hulbert’s current debt ratio is 11.08.
“The bottom line is [Hulbert’s] revenue is dropping,” he said. “It looks to me like your revenue is not being generated like it was in 2010.”
According to a billing report provided by McClendon, Hulbert earned $1,667,840.42 in gas revenue in 2010, while in 2011, gas sales produced $1,414,263.73 in revenue. The 2012 report indicated a gas earning of $1,209, 660.94.
“In 2012 [Hulbert] hit a snag. The revenue just went to pot,” said McClendon.
Gas sale profits have been hampered by milder winter temperatures, a project connected to State Highway 51 and miscalculated gas price adjustments, said Hulbert Trustee George Truitt.
“We’ve had some unusual debt that’s hit us pretty hard,” he said. “We’ve tried to give customers a more equitable rate, but it’s costing the city.”
Rates were restructured in September 2010, but the long-term effects were realized for a full year. Hulbert will be using the numbers generated from the 2011-2012 fiscal year to review its rate schedule. Discussion suggested that “high-end users” may be getting a break on price for gas service.
“We’ve got a [billing cycle generated over a] year and a half now to be able compare the numbers,” said Hulbert Public Works Authority billing clerk Kim McDaniel. “We went two steps when we just needed to go one.”
A special meeting is expected to be held soon to review the billing information and consider readjusting gas rates. The time and date of that meeting has not yet been set, as the city is gathering more figures and information to consider before enacting a decision.
The board also discussed the need to establish a more concrete utilities “cut-off policy” relating to late-payment agreements. Currently, customers have been allowed to conduct the process over the phone, but the need to complete office visits and sign promissory notes are in order to alleviate bill confusion and conflict.
Gas customers in Hulbert may soon see an increase in their service cost.
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Season of sparkle
Continuing a tradition dating back 20 years, officials for the city of Tahlequah and Northeastern State University jointly flipped the switch Tuesday for Lights On at Seminary Hall.
Held at dusk in front of the venerable campus building, Lights On was hosted by Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols, and Penny Turner, wife of NSU President Steve Turner.
Rooming house closes
Operators of The Stepping Stone Rooming House closed the facility doors Tuesday evening, three days ahead of a city-imposed deadline requiring residents to vacate the property if the building wasn’t brought up to code.
Emma Presley and Robert Clark have run the day-to-day operations of the facility for about six years. Now, the two are gathering their own belongings and cleaning up the building so they can be out by Friday.
“I’m ready to move on,” Clark said Tuesday afternoon.
Local authors are gaining popularity
As self-publishing gains popularity, more and more local residents have added the title “published author” to their resumes.
Northeastern State University graduate and Tahlequah resident Dustin Mitchell recently released her children’s book, “Alivia’s Angels,” and has met with success during book signings at NSU, the Cherokee County Community Building and Stage.
RAD courses available by arrangement
When a woman is being physically threatened, a bit of knowledge can provide the margin she needs to defend herself and escape danger.
Such is the reasoning behind the Rape Aggression Defense program, which is offered locally by law enforcement officers and deputy marshals.
“Fortunately for our community, we have several RAD instructors prepared to teach the classes,” said James Flores, investigator for the Northeastern State University Police. “There are four instructors at the NSU Police Department, five at the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service, and one at the Tahlequah Police Department. We frequently work together when we teach courses.”
Accused child killer dies of cancer
A man accused of killing a 3-year-old child in Tahlequah last month died Tuesday morning, according to officials at the Cherokee County Detention Center.
Buford Ellison had been hospitalized in Tahlequah since early last week. Administrators at CCDC worked with District 27 prosecutors to have Ellison moved from the jail to the hospital when Ellison’s health conditions began to deteriorate.
According to police, Ellison was suffering from the late stages of cancer.
He and his common-law wife, Jeri Danyce Sanders, were arrested last month at the Stepping Stone Rooming House and accused of murder in the death of Sanders’ child, Dakota. Detectives claim a baby sitter realized Dakota had died several hours after Sanders left the boy’s “lifeless body” in her room.
City council extends Dumpster regulation compliance date
Tahlequah city councilors have given local businesses an extra year to comply with new Dumpster regulations.
Local businessman Bryce Felts has been asking the council to exclude businesses that existed as of June 3, 2013, from following the ordinance. He insisted the new regulations would cost businesses and the city too much money and wouldn’t solve the problem of containing and hiding trash.
Vintage toys making a comeback
The Thanksgiving leftovers have been packed away, Christmas trees and decorations are appearing, and children are working busy on their wish lists for Santa.
Some shoppers may be surprised to find time-honored favorites mixed in with the electronic gadgetry on this year’s lists. A glance a retail advertising circulars will show that Easy-Bake ovens, Furbee, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Nerf, Star Wars and My Little Pony are not only available, but are popular among today’s kids.
Adding a twist to the Christmas tree
With Thanksgiving passed and December begun, Tahlequah is now bedecked in holiday lights and color.
Conventional decorations account for most of the decor, but Humane Society of Cherokee County and the Woodall School library each put their own little spins on the traditional Christmas tree.
The HSCC has decorated three trees with handmade construction paper “stockings,” each featuring an animal at its shelter. The Woodall library tree isn’t a tree at all - it’s a stack of books, but it looks a lot like a tree.
Stilwell pair thwarted from taking TVs
Two Stilwell women who allegedly tried to steal televisions from Walmart Sunday morning were arrested after they tried locking themselves into bathroom stalls at Burger King.
Tahlequah Police Lt. Billy Dowling said Shavana J. Reynaga, 29, and Lawanda J. Soap, 33, tried to take two 60-inch Vizio TVs out the front door of Walmart. Reynaga pushed the cart through the store and out the doors with Soap helping her pull the cart, according to Dowling’s report.
Authorities: Hunter shot, ‘left for dead’
Family and friends of a Coweta man shot Friday night in the Welling area hope the public can help them identify the shooter.
John Mason, 27, was hunting with his father on Corps property a couple miles south of the Illinois River Bridge, near South 540 Road.
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