Gas Franchise Fee Approved – But No Immediate Collection
The Rochester City Council has decided to establish a franchise fee for Minnesota Energy Resources - but has no plans to start collecting money anytime soon.
The new fee was approved Wednesday night as part of the franchise agreement between the city and the natural gas supplier. The Council was asked by staff to use the franchise fee to collect $500,000 per year from the company. But on a 4 - 3 vote, the Council decided not to start collecting a fee at this time.
The money would come from monthly fees of $1 for residential customers and $2 for commercial customers. Staff had included $350,000 from the fee in the city’s 2015 budget, which will now have to be adjusted to make up for the lack of new funds.
Voting in favor of the implementing the fee now were Councilmembers Campion, Means and Wojcik. Voting against the proposal were Councilmembers Bilderback, Hickey, Hruska and President Randy Staver.