Shawnee residents approve ONG franchise renewal
Despite an underwhelming turnout, an overwhelming majority of Shawnee residents voted in favor of a proposition in Tuesday's special election to decide whether to accept the renewal of a 25-year franchise agreement with Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG).
There was a total of 186 votes recorded — 156 (83.78 percent) in favor of the proposal and 30 (16.13 percent) against.
Shawnee City Manager Chance Allison said ONG's previous agreement expired in October.
In August Shawnee City Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution calling for a special election to decide the matter.
Allison said ONG would reimburse the City of Shawnee for the cost of the special election.
There is no change in the franchise rate, Allison said; currently ONG pays 4.25 percent.
The proposition asked whether to grant to One Gas, Inc., acting by and through its Oklahoma Natural Gas Company Division, for the next 25 years, a non-exclusive franchise and right to enter the public ways to install, operate, and maintain a distribution system within, along, across, over, and under the public ways of the City of Shawnee, Oklahoma for the transportation, distribution and/or sale of gas to consumers and the public generally in the City; providing for assignment, sale, or lease of the franchise; providing that the City may enact an ordinance charging persons transporting gas through grantee’s distribution system a fee on the calculated value of such transported gas; providing for use and repair of the public ways; providing for regulation of service; establishing depth of pipelines; establishing rights and duties in the movement and alteration of pipelines; providing for indemnification of the City of Shawnee; providing for grantee’s rules and regulations; providing for inspection of grantee’s records; requiring grantee to pay a franchise fee (4.25 percent); and providing for conditions of the franchise.
According to the state election board website, at ok.gov, results are unofficial and unverified on election night.
“Election results are posted to this website as they are received at the Oklahoma State Election Board from county election boards and will not include provisional ballot results until after 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15,” the site states. “Results shown here are subject to contest and recount and are neither final nor official until they are certified by the appropriate election board.”
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