No relief in sight for city utility bills

by Todd Brooks

Utility rates in Comanche will not be going down anytime soon unfortunately, city manager Chuck Ralls informed the public works authority at its meeting last Tuesday.

Fuel costs are having an impact on cities just as much as residents.

“Fuel costs and natural gas prices are high right now, obviously,” Ralls said. “We are spending a lot of money on gas and diesel. We doubled our fuel costs that we had budgeted last month.”

Ralls said that they could make the budget tighter, but there is only so much they can do.

“We could quit driving and quit mowing to save money, but then that would just lead to other problems,” Ralls said.

The city manager said that natural gas prices had been expected to drop but never did.

“Most of the generators we get our power from is gas powered,” Ralls said. “We had to adjust fuel costs to residents. Some people believed we had increased the rates, but we haven’t. I don’t see any relief coming in utility bills. A lot of people are struggling to pay their bills with other costs like gas and groceries going up. People talk to me about it, but I don’t have a solution. It’s a big problem. I don’t want to do a rate increase.”

In another part of the city manager’s report, Ralls said he has replaced four of the five employees he lost for various reasons in June. He still has not found another employee for the golf course, which has led it to being closed four days a week.

“I had four people set up for interviews and none of them showed up,” Ralls said. “The pay is good and it comes with city benefits.”