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Kerens City Council approves future electricity deal

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KERENS–Kerens City Council voted March 10 to sign a five-year contract with Hudson Energy to lock in municipal electricity costs after the current deal with TXU Energy expires next year.
The city pays 3.8 cents per kilowatt hour with TXU through May 31, 2021. Under the new deal, Kerens city government will pay no more than 4.85 cents per kilowatt hour with Hudson Energy, which operates in 22 states.
Bryan Trent, Team Leader with Sector 7 Energy in Plano, an energy consulting firm, has been researching Kerens electricity costs since last summer.Trent told council members that rates are going up in Texas, reflected by the lowest price point seven months ago rising nearly a penny per kilowatt hour.
“I don’t really see how we can lose mathematically,” said council member Greg Allen, who voted with other aldermen to give unanimous approval.
Council also voted unanimously to issue a specific-use permit to place a mobile home at 104 N. Sinclair Ave. The property owners plan to tear down the current structure, which was described as dilapidated, and place a new singlewide mobile home at the address. Five adjacent property owners were queried, said City Administrator Katherine Combs and all five provided positive feedback.
“I agree with the sentiment that occupied is better than unoccupied,” said Council member Ann Fessenden.
Council also voted to cancel May’s municipal election. Combs said three incumbents – Allen, Fessenden and Brandon Blue – along with challenger Brent Warren, had signed up for three council spots. Combs said Warren’s voter registration address was outside the city, which she said made Warren ineligible. Combs said she verified her findings with the Texas Secretary of State.
Members also voted to confirm all appointments to the Kerens Economic Development Corp. (EDC) board of directors: A.L. “Buster” Atkeisson (president), Mayor Jeffrey Saunders (vice president), Katherine Combs (secretary), along with Cindy Scott, Karen Bancroft, Rick Prince and Eddie Perry.
Further, council approved construction bids at the EDC-owned building at Colket Avenue and Southeast First Street. The kitchen will be modified at Milano’s Pizza under two separate bids totaling about $8,000, and a new coffee shop will occupy space at 107 S. Colket Avenue, with interior preparation bid out for $2,640. The EDC-provided money for the projects comes mostly from rent generated by businesses in the building, Mayor Saunders said.