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Winfield working with residents to help with skyrocketed gas bills

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 12:17 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The City of Winfield is working with its residents to help with high natural-gas bills following the stretch of below freezing temperatures in February. In a meeting Monday night (April 5), the city heard firsthand from community members about their biggest concerns.

The town meeting brought forward many with concerns about the surge in price that resulted in bills several times higher than what residents are used to paying for natural gas. The February freeze called for the immediate restriction of gas to conserve resources. Now, people are stuck with some outrageous bills.

“I’ve lived in my house since (1979) and I have never seen anything like this before,” one Winfield resident at Monday night’s meeting said. “I’m on single income and you’ve raised it to where I won’t be able to pay it.”

Outlined in the meeting was Winfield’s plan to pay the $8.4 million ticket to the Kansas Municipal Gas Agency over the next six years. The city took out a loan to pay the upfront costs for gas it needed right away. Initially the estimate was $13.3 million.

Eyewitness News spoke with one business owner off camera who said his gas bill is $2,500 more than normal. Many at Monday night’s meeting were grateful for the city’s approach to the matter, but still questioned why and what comes next?

The City of Winfield says it is working with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office on potential litigation over any price gouging that may have occurred. That investigation has been ongoing for more than a month. Until the findings of that investigation are revealed, many feel as though they’re stuck in a situation no one could have prepared for.

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