Gas Franchise Dispute: Century Working To Analyze Pensacola Energy Data

August 26, 2014

The natural gas franchise dispute between Century and Pensacola is continuing.

Pensacola  Energy currently provides natural gas service to three schools and one commercial customer in Bratt and Walnut Hill, plus 43 residential customers — all within the Town of Century’s exclusive gas franchise area. Pensacola and Century are disputing Pensacola Energy’s continued right to serve those customers, as Century seeks a franchise extension from the Escambia County Commission for a geographic area that spans from the Escambia River westward to almost the Perdido River and from the Alabama state line southward to near Bogia.

Mayor Freddie McCall said Pensacola Energy has now provided 375 pages of public records to Matt Dannheisser,  the town’s attorney. Century will hire a private company for $2,500 to sort through the 375 pages and convert the information to usable data such as spreadsheets in order to set rates, especially for the three schools and the commercial customer.  Century’s gas system currently only has one customer on commercial rates  — a negotiated contract with the Department of Corrections for the Century Correctional Institution.

“Once we get the records on spreadsheets and other forms, we’ll be able to set rates and use that as a tool to get the county to agree to work with use to get this taken care of,” McCall said.

In order to analyze the data and set appropriate gas rates, Century will hire two city of  Gulf Breeze employees as private contractors for a total of $3,000.

The $5,500 total for data analysis and rate creation will be paid out of $11,000 the town has in a special revenue account restricted gas fund.

In April, the Escambia County Commission delayed action on the franchise agreement for Pensacola and Century to come to terms. So far, the franchise agreement has not yet come back before the commission.

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