KANSAS (KSNT) – In February 2021, many southern states were struck with exorbitant gas bills when utility providers struggled to keep up with energy and natural gas demand during Winter Storm Uri.

From Feb. 9 to Feb 19, the cost of natural gas increased 15,000% from $4 per MMBTU to over $600 per MMBTU. During that time, electric energy costs increased from roughly $25 per MWh to over $3000 per MWh, according to Garden City Director of Public Works and Utilities Mike Muirhead.

In March 2021, Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Legislature established the City Utility Low-Interest Loan Program allowing up to $100 million to be loaned to cities across Kansas following Winter Storm Uri. Cities were given up to 10 years to repay the loans on non-fixed interest rate loans at 2% below market interest rates.

In total, 54 cities and one municipal energy agency submitted applications for the City Utility Low-Interest Loans agreement, according to the Kansas Treasurer’s Office.

Garden City had the largest loan agreement at $10,074,199 and decided to pass the impact onto all customers based on usage over a period of time rather than a ‘huge’ increase all at once, Muirhead said.

“The price of the two (electric and gas utilities) impacted the City of Garden City’s electric utility by roughly $10m,” Muirhead said. “The Governing Body entered into a loan agreement with the State of Kansas on March 17, 2021 for the $10m and continues to pay down the loan as agreed upon.”

As of Jan. 3, 2023, Kansas still has a remaining loan balance of $50,572,454 of a total issued $78,409,646. Seven cities have since repaid their loans.

Money owed on City Utility Low-Interest Loans as of Jan. 3, 2023.

City or Municipal Energy AgencyLoan AmountCurrent Loan Balance
City of Alma$501,450$92,012
City of Altamont$727,592$346,524
City of Argonia$294,095$246,940
City of Arma$401,281$330,001
City of Belleville$600,000$416,120
City of Burlingame$810,000$680,121
City of Burrton$500,000$419,830
City of Cassoday$181,272$127,842
City of Cawker City$100,000$53,939
City of Cheney$1,472,116$1,179,956
City of Chetopa$250,000$209,921
City of Denison$150,000$106,537
City of Eskridge$1,158,730$978,253
City of Fredonia$700,000$561,099
City of Garden City$10,074,199$8,459,214
City of Garnett$2,900,000$2,324,442
City of Halstead$2,000,000$1,679,323
City of Hesston$5,330,000$4,383,115
City of Howard$496,039$397,596
City of Humboldt$1,500,000$1,202,314
City of Jamestown$300,000$251,898
City of Kechi$970,377$814,789
City of Kingman$400,000$328,932
City of La Harpe$140,714$118,155
City of Little River$397,259$318,411
City of Louisburg$2,639,994$2,116,054
City of Lyons$3,000,000$2,467,061
City of Mcfarland$76,844$64,522
City of Mclouth$281,000$187,694
City of Montezuma$200,000$160,304
City of Morland$87,000$60,050
City of Moundridge$1,777,477$1,461,715
City of Neodesha$413,747$1,805
City of Neodesha$411,253$273,738
City of Norton$572,741$271,126
City of Oberlin$312,950$130,687
City of Osage City$1,650,000$1,385,442
City of Osawatomie$700,000$561,099
City of Partridge$110,831$93,060
City of Pratt$2,775,686$2,330,605
City of Rozel$205,382$168,895
City of Seneca$695,306$571,803
City of Spearville$250,000$150,288
City of Sylvia$149,133$119,918
City of Uniontown$80,000$27,595
City of Walton$215,000$172,331
City of Winfield$8,460,234$6,770,361
City of Winfield$54,560$54,560
Kansas Power Pool$18,000,000$4,944,431
City of Auburn$130,000Loan Repaid
City of Blue Mound$82,000Loan Repaid
City of Cimarron$597,836Loan Repaid
City of Dighton$200,000Loan Repaid
City of Ford$63,000Loan Repaid
City of Lindsborg$775,000Loan Repaid
City of Ottawa$1,087,541Loan Repaid