The City Council on Oct. 2 overcame its initial hesitation and approved a contract renewal with Gas South for another year that will reimburse the city for every new customer that participates in the company’s discount program.
In the first year of the contract, the city received $13,541. The second year of the contract is expected to bring in $23,776 for the city.
There were no substantive changes in the renewed contract, which Gas South estimates will provide the city with $300,000 in revenue over five years. So far, 670 residents have participated in the program.
Some City Council members previously had said they were reluctant to renew the contract because they worried about the appearance that the city was favoring a private company. Gas South has formed similar partnerships with cities around the Atlanta metro area.
Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny did not support the Oct. 2 renewal.
Mayor Eva Galambos said she also had concerns about the agreement.
“The citizens of Sandy Springs don’t understand when they get something with our letterhead that then pertains to a private company,” Galambos said.
Councilman Chip Collins said he had changed his mind about the agreement.
“I realize I’ve received no complaints from our constituents,” Collins said. “Thirteen thousand dollars, in the scheme of the whole budget it’s revenue. It’s additional revenue. It’s more than enough to cover one salary of one of our city council people.”
“Gas South appreciates that the Sandy Springs City Council voted to extend our natural gas alliance partnership. We look forward to continuing to grow this voluntary program by offering discounted natural gas rates to Sandy Springs residents and businesses, and remaining active in the Sandy Springs community,” Gas South President and CEO Kevin Greiner said in a statement.
Gas South said in the statement it has contributed more than $5 million to partners in its discount program since 2007.