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Albany utility commission hears Municipal Gas Authority 101

Water, Gas and Light Commission becomes 78th member of gas utility collective

Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia Southern Division Member Services Manager Rodney Dill tells Albany’s Water, Gas & Light Commission board about the authority’s services during a Thursday WG&L board meeting. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia Southern Division Member Services Manager Rodney Dill tells Albany’s Water, Gas & Light Commission board about the authority’s services during a Thursday WG&L board meeting. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

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Eric Groom, Southern Region member services manager for the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia, tells Albany WG&L board members what they can expect as members of the authority. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

ALBANY — The city’s Water, Gas & Light Commission board got an overview of the services it will receive as the newest member of the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia during the board’s first meeting of 2014 Thursday.

The Gas Authority’s Southern Division member services manager, Rodney Dill, and its Southern Region manager, Eric Groom, told the WG&L board the authority would become the city utility’s agent in management and compliance in its delivery of natural gas to customers.

When interim WG&L General Manager Tom Berry told the board, “Our delivery (from Southern Natural Pipeline) of gas won’t change,” Dill said what would change is management of those supplies.

“We’ll take your capacity and maximize its value,” Dill said. “We’ll sell the capacity that you’re not using, and all of the money will come back to the city of Albany.”

As the 78th member of the Municipal Gas Authority, a nonprofit agency that was established by Georgia law in 1987 after deregulation of the gas industry, WG&L will become part of a collective that has some $3 billion in assets and more than $343 million in annual revenues. Sixty-four of the authority’s members are in Georgia with the others in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and even one member in Chambersberg, Pa.

“Our goal is to maximize your assets,” Dill told the WG&L board. “Member services are developed in four key areas: business analysis and marketing, communications, regulatory compliance and meeting planning. As with all of our members, we will work for the city of Albany.”

Groom said the authority will take a “much broader approach” in the management of WG&L’s gas supply and operations. “When we prepare our annual reports for our members, I will prepare a report on what your portfolio would have looked like had you been a member of the authority last year,” Groom said.

WG&L will become an official member of the Gas Authority on March 1 and will be one of the Top 10 gas suppliers among the membership once it is officially on board.

“We won’t officially be a member of the authority until March 1, but they have already started helping us out,” Berry said.

The WG&L board, which is one member short after the Albany City Commission failed to decide on a fifth member at its special called meeting Monday, also approved a request to enter into a multiyear contract to provide mandatory fluoride for the city’s water system.