The Fulshear City Council has voted to join the Gulf Coalition of Cities as a means of fighting future utility rate increases.
Council members voted to pay the $225 fee to become a member of the coalition at the recommendation of City Administrator C.J. Snipes.
Snipes said the city has been a part of the group in the past as it opposed specific rate hike requests on an ad-hoc basis, but now the member cities have decided to band together on a permanent basis.
“This allows us to join with many other cities in the region to challenge proposed rate increases,” Snipes told the council.
The membership fee is a fraction of what it would cost Fulshear to fight a proposed rate hike alone, he added.
The coalition will now be a permanent organization rather than joining together only after a rate increase has been proposed, giving member cities a more organized approach to formally opposing a rate hike.
In the past, more than 30 different cities have been a part of the coalition.
In other action, Fulshear council members also approved a new ordinance requiring pipeline companies to obtain a permit before extending a pipeline through the city.
Mayor Tommy Kuykendall stressed the ordinance only allows the city a limited degree of regulatory authority, but it could not stop a pipeline from coming through Fulshear.
“You can’t stop them; this just gives you some oversight,” Kuykendall said.
The new ordinance will require companies building pipelines to go through a permitting process and pay a $1,000 permit fee.
City Secretary D. Gordon Offord said she regularly gets calls from pipeline companies considering building a line through the city.
The ordinance was approved on a unanimous vote.