ANDI study will offer objective opinion on hot topic

Financial disagreements are among the strongest predictors of a divorce. It’s no mystery as to why, either. In more ways than we’d like to admit, money is power and freedom--and that’s why it’s so touchy. People get fearful when they feel that their relationship with money is challenged because it is an affront to their power and freedom. And when they feel that fear, they get angry. The Northwest Alabama Gas District (NWAGD) board, consisting of six local mayors, has been an amicable group for about the past decade. But leave it to money issues to break that peace. Member municipalities--including Hackleburg, Haleyville, Hamilton, Guin, Sulligent and Winfield--enjoy payouts from excess revenues generated by the natural gas utility when they are available, otherwise known as annual net distributable income (ANDI) funds. In a 4-2 vote on July 1, Sulligent Mayor Scott Boman rallied the smaller towns at the board table (Hackleburg, Guin, Sulligent and Winfield) to solicit a third-party consultation on the gas district’s ANDI distribution formula, much to the dismay of Hamilton Mayor Bob Page and Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri. The current formula favors the larger cities which carry a higher customer population and gives them a bigger slice of the pie. Boman says this is an antiquated method as customers located outside of the six member cities and towns now outpace those inside. The approved third-party opinion will weigh whether or not the current ANDI formula is fair and will offer an objective perspective on how ANDI money is being handled and could serve as a tool to bypass any animosity that is festering over this issue--we can hope.


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