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Mississippi city selling gas system to private utility

A Mississippi Gulf Coast city is moving to sell its natural gas system for cash to help avert a financial pinch.

WLOX-TV reports the Pascagoula City Council voted 4-3 Wednesday to sell the city’s gas utility to Houston-based CenterPoint Energy for $3 million.

The system also serves some residents in Gautier (goh-SHAY’).

The Mississippi Public Service Commission must approve the sale.

Some opponents say there hasn’t been enough information. Councilman Scott Tipton says he voted against Wednesday’s measure because he wanted more time for consideration.

Mayor Dane Maxwell says the city will use the money to pay down debt and shore up reserves.

Maxwell says Pascagoula will save money over coming decades because the gas system needs repairs.

CenterPoint is Mississippi’s second-largest natural gas provider, with 124,000 customers.

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