Council will not pursue a natural gas aggregate

LEETONIA – Village Council will not be pursuing a natural gas aggregate on the November ballot.

Village Council members Wednesday night agreed not to place the issue on the ballot due to insufficient information regarding proposed savings. Council members Sue Buchanan, Kevin Siembida and Mark Gardner participated in the discussion at a special meeting prior to the regular council meeting.

Brenda Fargo, manager of the gas program for the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC), told council two weeks ago that the program, which has to be approved by general election, would provide fixed rates every three or four months. She said residents can opt out at any time at no cost.

However, Fargo said at the time that she was unable to provide an estimate of savings until closer to the election due to the flexibility in the gas industry.

Council members said they did not feel comfortable taking the issue to residents without knowing how much residents could save.

“I’m worried about buying on futures (for two to three months),” Buchanan said. “Too many people (in the village) are living near broke. I’m not going to recommend something so vague.”

Siembida agreed, noting that if council members can’t explain the issue, they can’t ask residents to approve it.

“We’d be remiss if we do offer this without some kind of tangible information,” Buchanan added.

Council members said they would remain open to the option if or when more information becomes available, but reiterated that they didn’t feel there was enough information at this point to move forward with the issue.

Council would have to submit the issue to the board of elections by Aug. 6 to have it placed on the November ballot.