Ford considers selling gas lines to Black Hills Energy

By Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe
The City of Ford will hold a special election that will determine whether it sells its gas lines to Black Hills Energy.

FORD — At the Jan. 1 Ford County Commissioners’ meeting, a motion was unanimously passed, allowing the City of Ford to hold a special election on Jan. 25 that will permit it to sell its gas lines to Black Hills Energy.

A special election must be held, as the gas lines are a city-owned utility, and the citizens of Ford must agree to such an extensive change in their community.

“The reason the Ford City Council made the decision to sell is because the system is over 50 years old, and we’re coming to the point where extensive repairs will need to be made,” said Ford city clerk Penny McAllister. “As we were looking into those repairs, it came up at the least with grants, the city would have to come up with half a million dollars.”

Due to the size of Ford, coming up with those funds would be impossible without a loan.

Partnering with Black Hills Energy to repair Ford’s gas lines and upgrade them to modern-day code reduces that initial repair estimate significantly to little to no costs.

Further, as Black Hills Energy is a large company capable of managing its own systems, it can purchase more gas for Ford at a cheaper price.

“Black Hills Energy and the City of Ford have been in talks to sell their municipal system for a while now,” said James Williams, Black Hills Energy community affairs manager.

As Black Hills Energy customers, Ford will have benefits such as extensive customer service options and online bill pay.

More details as to where construction will take place in Ford if Black Hills Energy takes over the gas line system are still contingent on citizens voting to sell at the special election.

In office advance voting began on Jan. 19 and concluded on Jan. 22 The election will be held Jan. 25 at the Ford Community Church Fellowship Hall 701 Main in Ford City.

Polling location will open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan 25.