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Salem Residents Will See Lower Gas Rates

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

After months of discussion, the Salem City Council Monday night approved a new structure for natural gas rates.   City Manager Bill Gruen says all customers will see some savings, with the biggest savings going to the largest users who will see their natural gas delivery charge drop by more than 50 percent.   Gruen says overall, the city is providing between $200,000 and $300,000 in savings.

"A rate that is more in line with generated revenues that we need to operate with just a little bit of margin. In the past few year's we've been able to build up reserves that we need" Gruen said.

But Gruen feels the reserves are now adequate.  The new gas rates for the first time provide for a sliding scale, where the largest users pay less.  Gruen says that will help the city be more competitive when seeking to locate industries that utilize a large amount of gas.  

Councilman Dave Black commended the city manger for doing a good job in development the new rates which he called 'very fair and equitable'.   The new rates will retroactively go into effect December first.   

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