Natural gas bills are expected to rise significantly across the state, including in Geary County, after bitter cold temperatures struck the Midwest last week. Bills could possibly go up by 10 to 20 percent, according to Junction City Manager Allen Dinkel.

“If you’re normally getting a $100 gas bill for your house, you’re could get a $2,000 gas bill,” he said.

These bills will likely come in March or early April, he said.

Dinkel took part in public comment during the Geary County Commission meeting Monday morning, where he addressed the problem.

“Last week, the market (for natural gas) skyrocketed,” he said.

Dinkel said he had been lead to believe the problem would hit Geary County “big time.”

“We don’t know how Kansas Gas is going to treat this yet,” he said.

This concerns both the city and the county and could have an impact on any resident who uses natural gas.

He said he believed it was “a real concern” for the community.

“It’s going to be a sticker shock,” Dinkel said.

The State of Kansas is seeking federal help to deal with the disaster, which could help mitigate the cost of natural gas stemming from this recent winter weather disaster, though there’s no guarantee the state will receive this help. Dinkel said Gov. Laura Kelly had already contacted the federal government to request aid.

“With the disaster declaration, money could flow this way,” he said.

Both the county and city use natural gas and could be struck with this increase in cost as well.

“A lot of us will be guessing until we get our first bills,” he said. “But also, I think it’s important to start preparing people for it.”

Dinkel said he was unsure what might happen to people who use only electricity in their residences. He said it was possible energy companies might pass on demand charges to customers.

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