Oronogo voters approve Spire’s purchase of natural gas system

A small portion of Oronogo’s eligible voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the sale of the city’s natural gas system to Spire Inc.

Of the total 87 votes cast, 55 (63.22%) were in favor of the sale, and 32 were against it. Voter turnout was only 5.26% of the 1,653 registered voters.

The takeover isn’t expected to occur until spring. It will first have to be approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission, which will evaluate the sale, including the purchase price.

Mayor Charles Wilkins has said Spire submitted the better of two similar offers. The price is $520,000 for the existing system plus $100,000 to reimburse the city for what it’s spending to extend service within the Greystone II and Hawthorn Hills subdivisions.

The Oronogo Board of Aldermen is likely to certify the election result during its meeting on Monday.

Now that the sale has been approved, board members may take up the question of whether the proceeds will be used for a specific purpose.

JOPLIN USE TAX APPROVED

The proposed local use tax for Joplin was also approved – by a 51.42% majority.

Combining votes cast in Jasper and Newton counties, 1,705 were in favor of the use tax, while 1,611 were against it.

Turnout was 10.38% of the combined total of 31,958 registered voters.

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