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Oklahoma City voters approve amendments to City Charter, ONG franchise agreement

Post Date:07/10/2019 9:05 AM

Oklahoma City voters on Tuesday approved a City Charter amendment and a change to the Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG) franchise agreement.

Voters considered the proposals as separate ballot items, and each required a simple majority to pass. The Governor of Oklahoma must also review and sign the Charter amendment for it to formally become law.

The Charter amendment affects employment restrictions for Oklahoma City Council members. The change to the ONG franchise agreement affects franchise fees ONG pays to the City.

All election results are unofficial until certified by the Oklahoma County Election Board.

Employment restrictions

The Charter amendment on employment restrictions will allow more state and federal government employees to serve on the City Council.

The amendment keeps restrictions for elected officials and senior government officers like state legislators and school superintendents, who can’t serve on the Council. But it allows other state and federal government employees, like teachers and engineers, to be Council members.

The City Council has nine members: the Mayor, who is elected citywide, and one representative from each of the City’s eight Wards.

ONG franchise agreement

The change to the ONG franchise agreement clarifies the definition of gross cash receipts, which determine the franchise fees ONG pays to the City.

After negotiations, the City and ONG agreed the definition should include certain receipts the City had contended should already be included. 

ONG’s residential and commercial natural gas customers in Oklahoma City could see an increase in their gas bill of about 0.1 percent (10 cents on a $100 gas bill).

ONG will pay the City about $225,000 in additional annual franchise fees, an increase of about 4 percent. Franchise fees go into the City’s General Fund, which pays for day-to-day operations like police officer and firefighter salaries.

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Media Contact
Kristy Yager
(405) 297-2550 / (405) 863-2831

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