PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - In a very short meeting held Wednesday morning, the Pascagoula City Council voted to sell the city-owned gas utility system to Centerpoint Energy for a price of $3 million.
The vote was 4-to-3 in favor of the sale. A recent appraisal of the system came back at just under $3 million. A small group of citizens attended the meeting, saying they were opposed to the sale because of not enough information being put out at this time. Meanwhile, council member Scott Tipton voted no for the sale, saying he thinks the issue needed more time before coming to a vote.
Mayor Dane Maxwell, who has been pushing for the sale, says it’s money the city can use to gain financial footing.
“As soon as we get the check, we owe some on a $20 million bond proceeds and we owe some more deposits,” said the mayor. “So about $1 million of that will be spent clearing up the debt that we owe there and then $2 million will go back in the checking account, the general account, and we’ll use that to shore up the stability of the city and have that sitting there as we need it.”
The mayor says the city will save millions of dollars over the next 20 years because much of the city gas system is in need of major repairs.