Clearfield to fill council vacancy; Discusses increase in natural gas prices

Clearfield City Council accepted the resignation of councilperson Luke Larsen at their monthly meeting on February 17. The council also discussed the substantial increase in natural gas rates due to bitter cold temperatures, approved the budget, setting the levy, and approved the purchase of an infrared camera.
Mayor Chris Knox read a letter of resignation from Luke Larsen. His resignation is effective February 15, 2021 and he has served on the city council for five years. The council approved the resignation.
City clerk Pam Nickell provided information to the council on options in filling the vacancy. The council can fill the vacancy either by appointment or by calling for a special election. If they choose to appoint someone, it must be done within 40 days after the vacancy occurred and the city must publish notice of its intention to appoint. Eligible electors can petition for a special election. Nickell said she will publish a notice in the newspaper.
Nickell provided information to the council about a substantial increase in natural gas rates. The notice came from the City of Lenox who sells the natural gas to Clearfield.
The notice stated: “because of the sub-zero temperatures which have caused an increase in energy demand and natural gas supply constraints, utilities are currently experiencing wholesale “spot” natural gas prices that are up to 100 times their normal price. These costs will eventually flow through to the consumer and will substantially increase their monthly natural gas and electric bills.”
The notice further stated: “The Governor of Kansas has already issued a ‘State of Disaster Emergency’ and they are doing all they can to minimize the impact to customers, but this will be a painful experience for customers. This experience will be felt by the entire Midwest population. Natural gas bills could be four to seven times what they were last month.”

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