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No action on personnel item, gas dispute

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The Navasota City Council held a Special Meeting Monday, Oct. 4, and moved into Executive Session as permitted by Section 551.071, Texas Government Code-Consultation with Attorney, and Section 551.074, Texas Government Code-Personnel Matters. After nearly one hour, council reconvened and adjourned taking no action on either agenda item.

One agenda item related to the appointment of a city staff member to serve as the administrative officer authorized to perform the duties of the city manager in the city manager’s absence or inability to perform his duties. The other item concerned the City’s dispute with Symmetry Energy Solutions, LLC, over a $1.3 million invoice for natural gas supplied to the City in February during Winter Storm Uri.

After a July 12 Executive Session meeting, council approved engaging Jonathan Baughman of the McGinnis Lochridge Law Firm to represent the City on behalf of its gas customers in negotiating the charge which far exceeded the normal gas bill of approximately $65,000.

At that time, Mayor Bert Miller said, “The city in good faith has paid Symmetry for the amount that was agreed to under the terms of the contract.”

Symmetry faces heat for chilling invoicing

June 1, 2020, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Energy Capital Partners, LLC closed on the sale of CenterPoint Energy Services, Inc. (CES) to an affiliate of Energy Capital Partners who rebranded CES to Symmetry Energy Solutions. Symmetry began making headlines early spring 2021 when a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of Certified Roses in Tyler. Colony Park Apartments in Longview soon joined in.

According to Fox News affiliate KTEK in Tyler, Symmetry did not prepare for the storm in their contracts and the lawsuit alleges that Symmetry “wrongfully passed on certain costs to customers” during the winter storm.

Symmetry is facing the heat for the chilling affect its invoicing has had on customers outside Texas as well.