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Buckley considers selling gas utility

The city of Buckley is  considering a sale of its gas utilities department.

In March, the city sent out a survey to citizens with their billing statements. The purpose was to ascertain public opinion on the municipal gas company's services and whether the city should consider selling to a larger organization.

"The responses we received back were that prices were too high for the level of service," Mayor Pat Johnson said. "Now, we're the smallest gas company in the state. So we can't command the same bulk prices as larger energy companies like [Puget Sound Energy]."

So with public opinion leaning in that direction, the city is exploring the possibility of selling.

Because the gas company was initially funded by public debt—a bond voted in by 1950s era citizens—its sale must be approved by voters. Additionally, staff would need to put out a public proposal of sale, and the city will be required to hold public hearings on possible sales.

"Now council will direct staff to have the system evaluated," Johnson said.

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