Roland resident submits request list
A Roland resident who is also an employee of AOG in Arkansas, submitted a list to the Roland Town Board of Trustees last week requesting a list of information additional information regarding the proposed natural gas utility system Roland intends to install.”
Dallas Johnson said as a taxpayer, he did not agree with duplicating gas services and did not understand the purpose behind establishing the new gas authority.
Johnson said he also had concerns about safety if there was ever a gas leak in the new system and the town's plans to hire “only one person” to oversee maintenance.
Johnson's list of items he requested included a copy of the minutes from all meetings where the natural gas system or the trust created to operate the natural gas system was discussed or voted on.
Also documents that explain how Roland or the trust will pay for the natural gas system and if tax dollars will be used to repay the loan for the system.
He also wants to know what was used to secure the loan with the bank and if the loan needed to build the natural gas system has already been approved. If so, if Johnson could obtain copies of the loan documents.
Johnson also wanted to know if he could have a copy of the financial plan that was created any other documents which explains Roland's plan for financing, installing and operating the natural gas system;, and any information of what it would cost the Roland citizens to hook up to the new gas system; and how gas rates would be structured and were there any guarantees the rates will remain the same for a certain period of time.
Roland Town Mayor Jimmy Peterson said the board had nothing to hide and the main reason for installing a new gas system is to save the residents of Roland money. He invited Johnson to come and review the documents.
“We're always looking for ways to save our residents money,” Peterson said.
Following the meeting, Roland town manager Monty Lenington said AOG has been the main source of gas supplier for the town of Roland but has not contributed to the town and with the new gas authority, owned by the town, the monies will be used to make improvements to the park, roads and to other projects overseen by the town.
Roland town attorney Jeff Edwards said some documents were nearly three inches thick and invited Johnson to review the documents and make his own copies since the town is not obligated to print that many copies due to costs involved.
In other business the same board which oversees the Roland Utility Authority hired Cody Waddle as a sanitation worker and approved Jimmy Woodward for the public works department. They also approved a proposal submitted by Ameresco which manufactures and plans to install an updated meter system for the town.
“This will bring the town up to what we call a smart city because the new system requires no rereads. It has an ultrasonic meter reading guaranteed accuracy,” Randy Wills, a representative for the company said.