By Anthony Scott

Killeen Daily Herald

The average bill for Atmos Energy customers will most likely go up by about $1.40 per month if the Killeen City Council gives the green light at tonight's meeting.

The City Council will vote on approving a rate increase with natural gas company Atmos Energy that is part of a settlement agreement.

The Atmos Cities Steering Committee (ACSC), an organization composed of Killeen and 147 cities, authorized a rate review. Atmos in turn came back with a request to increase natural gas rates in accordance with the review.

According to the city's ordinance, the review filed by Atmos requested a $70.2 million increase in rates. Consultants hired by the ACSC analyzed the evidence cited by Atmos and support the rate.

It was recommended by the ACSC executive committee that all the member cities adopt the ordinance implementing the rate change.

The ordinance outlines that the alternative to approval of the rates would mean a contested case would have to proceed before the Texas Railroad Commission, which could result in additional time and money.

Reasoning behind the increase includes the replacement of 100,000 steel gas lines.

The council's workshop starts at 4 p.m. at City Hall, College Street and Avenue D. Its regular meeting is at 6 p.m. today at City Hall in the main council chambers.

Contact Anthony Scott at (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.

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