PRESS RELEASE 3.10.21 | City of Columbiana Pursues Remedies for Increase in Natural Gas Bills

City of Columbiana: Current participants of the City of Columbiana natural gas aggregation program will see an increase in their bill from Volunteer Energy Services Inc. for natural gas consumed during the February usage period, and the City of Columbiana is pursuing remedies to the situation.

Volunteer Energy Services Inc., is the competitive retail gas supplier that provides the natural gas that is delivered to the aggregation participants. Volunteer Energy has already begun to send out the March bills, which include an additional charge of $0.091 per Ccf. Volunteer Energy’s rationale for the increased charge is that, due to the extreme cold during the period of Feb.5-Feb. 20, 2021, they were forced to purchase significant quantities of natural gas from the spot market to meet increased customer demand and that the cost of those purchases was significantly higher than normal. Volunteer Energy has stated that this additional increase in rate would be for one month only.

As the natural gas program aggregator for customers in the City of Columbiana, the City of Columbiana does not agree that Volunteer Energy has the ability to increase customers’ rates in this manner. After a preliminary review, the City of Columbiana believes that this is a breach of its contract and is reviewing options to take the necessary steps to protect program participants, including obtaining refunds to those customers for all bills that have been paid.

The City of Columbiana is working with AMPO, Inc., the City of Columbiana administrator of the natural gas aggregation program, to take the appropriate actions in concert with the City of Columbiana. These actions will include pursuing remedies to ensure that participants are made whole.

Gas Aggregation Program for City of Columbiana Residents

Starting  with  your April  2021 billing cycle  through March 2023  billing cycle the City’s Natural Gas Aggregation supplier will remain with  VOLUNTEER ENERGY. The new rate will be .4765 per ccf. (originally $.405 per Ccf), increased due to charges arising from FERC Rate Case RP20-1060 effective February 1, 2021. Columbiana Gas is still your utility and will continue to provide monthly billing and service.

All City residents will be  automatically enrolled into the Gas Aggregation Program unless you choose to “opt out”. Once in the program you will be able to choose to leave at any time if you feel you are not receiving the best rate available and there will be no penalties.

All City residents will receive a letter which outlines all of the terms. The opt out portion will be attached to this letter  if you choose to do so.

A sample of the letter that residents will receive can be viewed here. Volunteer Energy Sample Welcome Letter

If you have any questions regarding the Natural Gas Aggregation Program please contact City Hall at 330-482-2173 option 6.

 

Firestone Park Pavilion Reservations for 2021

The Columbiana Park and Cemetery Department will be accepting Pavilion and Shelter reservations for the 2021 calendar year. No rentals will take place for the months of January and February in any city facilities due to current COVID-19 restrictions.

Reservations will be accepted starting on January 4th, 2021. At  the time of reservation, payments will not be accepted, but will be collected closer to your rental date if COVID-19 restrictions allow gatherings to take place.

In order to make a reservation please contact our office at 330-482-2656 or visit our office in the park. All COVID-19 protocols must be followed and will be enforced.

Our office hours are Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

 

Blessing Box on the Columbiana Circle donated by Local Family

Blessing Box on the Columbiana Circle donated by local family.

Shirley Elosh and her family live in beautiful Columbiana.  Shirley wanted a Blessing Box for her church.  But where do you go to have one made? They didn’t have the tools or equipment to take this endeavor on. So she began talking about this desire and need to everyone.

They ended up being blessed with two beautifully crafted Blessing Boxes.

Two different, dedicated groups of men who loved to work with wood, planned, bought all the materials needed and desiring no payment or notoriety, whatsoever, put the two boxes together and then delivered them.

One of them went straight to her church and has been filled with cans and boxes of food by different volunteers and has been a blessing to the local community.

The other box, equally beautiful, sat in her garage for the past three months, waiting for an assignment.

Now, we do have other organizations and churches and individuals who reach out and help those in need in our community, but this Blessing box is just one more way to help.

Shirley contacted Columbiana City Hall and we have place the box on the Columbiana circle for the community and anyone in need.

Volunteers will be filling the box, each taking turns,  but ANYONE is able to add or remove articles from the box.

There are some “rules” of what can and cannot be placed in this box.

Frozen articles, milk products, meat, eggs, or cheeses cannot be placed with this box.

What is needed are articles like; Toilet Paper, toothbrushes, shampoo, soaps, wipes, deodorant, etc.

The food articles could be boxes spaghetti, tuna, canned veggies, canned meats, rice, noodles, canned soups, gravy, any packets of food, individual servings, etc.

Even articles like diapers, baby wipes could be very helpful for folks at this time.

Avoid putting anything in glass jars for safety purposes. Leave nothing on top of the box.

What a beautiful blessing this will be for folks who are in need and those who give will be blessed, too!

Special thanks go to the  men who did all the work with the boxes. These men do not want to be known, but our gratitude and prayers go to them.