Madison Township looks into rising heating costs

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

With higher heating costs looming as temperatures start to dip, Madison Township residents may—or may not—see a little relief depending on the natural gas market.

During the Oct. 20 Madison Township trustee meeting, Scott Belcastro of Trebel, LLC presented an update on current natural gas rates in the area.

“We got to get the volatility under control,” Belcastro said. “It’s been a heck of a ride.”

A resolution approved by the trustees gives Belcastro and Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst permission to enter into an aggregation agreement when the prices become beneficial to township residents.

Trustee Katherine Chipps said she paid as much for gas in the middle of the summer this year for what she usually pays in December or January when temperatures are much lower.

“The guidelines of an acceptable agreement would be a fixed rate at .75/ccf or lower, as the market would allow,” said township Communication Specialist Jessy Woodworth. “An acceptable agreement would run from January 2023 through April 2024. Budget billing would be available through the provider. There will be no fees to join, and no fees to leave the program. Should these not be available, the program pause will continue and Trebel LLC will continue to monitor for a better opportunity.”

Other Madison Township news
•Madison Township Police Chief Gary York said his department was on the receiving end of a pair of grants—a $364,995 Criminal Justice Service Grant for staffing, recruitment, hiring and retention; and a $125,000 Department of Justice COPS Grant for law enforcement hiring.

“We’re looking at adding staff to the department,” York said.

•While the police were on the receiving end of additional funding, supply shortages and escalating costs of raw materials are contributing factors to a $46,507 rise in the price of a new medic for the fire department.

“We were notified Aug. 1 of the price increase,” said Madison Township Chief Derek Robinson. “Magnesium went up 307 percent, aluminum went up 225 percent and steel went up 171 percent. These are just some of the components that make up this vehicle.”

The new total purchase price after an $8,500 intra-agency purchase discount and a $4,200 pre-payment discount is $334,300.

Trustee John Pritchard said, if the township backed out of the contract, it would cost the township substantially more later on and would push out delivery another 24 months.

“It really bothers me (the price increase), but we have no other choice,” said Pritchard. “I’m not happy at all.”

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