By Conrad Dudderar
Ten voting sites in the City of Yukon will be open Tuesday, March 2 for a special Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG) franchise election.
It will be up to Yukon voters to decide whether to grant the utility company a 25-year franchise. ONG is Oklahoma’s largest natural gas distributor in the state, in terms of customers.
Approval of the franchise election will not impact customers’ rates, ONG community relations manager Martie Oyler emphasized.
“Residents will continue to benefit from safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service as they have for so many decades,” Oyler said.
This franchise agreement would outline detailed rights and responsibilities between the City of Yukon and ONG for the next 25 years. It would allow the utility company to work within the city’s public ways to “construct, maintain and operate” a natural gas system.
“A franchise agreement really protects both the utility and the community,” Oyler told Yukon City Council members last year. “It states all the responsibilities of both sides. By the public voting, it gives us the right to use the public ways.”
All other major utility companies beside ONG already have franchise agreements with the City of Yukon.
On election day, Yukon’s registered voters will head to their polling precincts to cast ballots.
Eleven precincts, in 10 polling locations, will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 2 for the election:
- Richland Nazarene Church, 10825 N 6th
- Yukon First Church of the Nazarene, 525 E Main
- Bethel Community Church – Bradford Family Life Center, 4901 N Sara Road
- Yukon First United Methodist Church, 400 Elm
- Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium, 850 Yukon Ave. (two precincts)
- Town & Country Christian Church, 2200 S Cornwell
- Yukon Church, 11715 N.W. 10th
- Covenant Community Church, 2250 Yukon Parkway
- Discovery Church, 900 E Main
- Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore Drive
TIME TO ‘FEEL THE WARMTH’
ONG officials are asking Yukon voters to “feel the warmth” by voting yes to formally establish this franchise:
“Oklahoma Natural Gas has helped warm your home, heat your water and cook your meals for decades,” according to an election advertisement. “By partnering with Yukon on a franchise agreement, we can also provide funding that helps your city government deliver vital services.
“To do that, we need your vote to support the franchise agreement.”
If approved by voters, the proposition will provide compensation to the City of Yukon “in the form of a 2% royalty.”
The only change ONG residential customers will see is the line item description on their utility bills.
A 2% royalty already is being collected by ONG and paid to the City of Yukon through a gross receipts’ ordinance in place since 1942.
The revenue collected by ONG on behalf of the City of Yukon helps with future growth and improvements.
A division of ONE Gas, Inc., ONG delivers natural gas to more than 861,000 customers in Oklahoma. ONG has been in Oklahoma since 1906.