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Springfield City Utilities explains future bills, working on plan to cover costs from winter storms

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 10:31 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Weeks after the snow and record-breaking cold hit the Springfield area, City Utilities is working on a plan to cover costs with rising demand for natural gas.

“This was an anomaly. This was a catastrophic, historic event. None of us never want to go through it again,” said Springfield City Utilities spokesperson, Joel Alexander.

Alexander said CU wants to divide the cost in order to help ease the financial burden on customers.

“Over the six or seven-day period it ended up being over $40 million,” said Alexander. ”It spreads it out over a 24-month period. On average $375.”

Alexander said that’s the average cost, give or take how much natural gas you’re using.

”You might see an extra $3 or $5 on your summer bills. On the fall or winter months you might see a $15 or $20 extra,” said Alexander.

Springfield resident Darrianna Harris doesn’t think it’s fair.

”This was technically a national disaster especially what happened with Texas because they’re not used to that but we kind of are. It took us by surprise because how the winter was going. We didn’t expect this much snow or ice,” said Springfield resident Darrianna Harris.

Alexander said the state of Missouri hasn’t declared the storms a disaster.

“Believe it or not, this doesn’t fall into a disaster yet because the state hasn’t been declared as a disaster area. If anything happens with that, it would be a whole other level with reimbursements it that were to take place,” said Alexander.

Alexander said, when CU encouraged customers to conserve energy, it did make a difference.

“I unplugged the microwave and everything everything except the refrigerator and TV’s. I kept it as 68 degrees. I tried to follow the rules,” said Harris.

“We couldn’t make it last week unless our community was working together. Our community worked together, I think that’s the main thing. Our community worked together, and we came out of this less financial impact than so many other communities,” said Alexander.

CU’s plan will be presented March 8 to Springfield City Council. If it’s approved after its second hearing, Alexander said you should start to see the increase come April.

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