HOWLAND Residents to get a deal on price of natural gas

To be a part of the plan, residents must request the switch in providers.
HOWLAND -- Township trustees have adopted a plan to endorse one of the many companies which sell natural gas to Howland consumers.
In exchange, that company will offer consumers cut rates for its gas, delivered, same as always, on Dominion East Ohio lines.
Trustees first discussed the process, called aggregation, at a meeting last month. On Wednesday, they voted to hire Buckeye Energy Brokers Inc. to shop around for the best deal on natural gas for Howland consumers.
The Twinsburg company will be paid $65 an hour, up to $5,900 a year, for the service, said John Emanuel, township administrator.
After the plan goes into effect in November, Howland residents will still be able to buy natural gas from whichever supplier they please.
They must request that their service be switched to take part in the township-endorsed plan, and will be able to drop out of the plan on 30 days' notice for free.
Emanuel estimated that residents could save $100 to $120 a year by participating in the plan.
Over the past year, the price for natural gas paid by consumers in aggregate groups like the one being created in Howland has been about 10 percent to 20 percent less than what consumers pay on their own, Thomas M. Bellish, chief sales engineer at Buckeye Energy Brokers, told trustees last month.
Sidewalk project: Trustees on Wednesday approved soliciting bids for the sixth and final phase of the township's sidewalk project, under way for several years.
This phase, estimated to cost $200,000, will extend East Market Street sidewalks 1,500 feet east on both sides of the street and includes streetlights, park benches, trees and trash cans, Emanuel said.
A federal grant will cover 80 percent of the cost.

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