- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Natural gas rates are going up for customers of Mississippi River Gas LLC.

The Flowood-based company serves almost 3,300 customers around Port Gibson, Fayette, Bogue Chitto, Tchula and Natchez.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved the rate increases earlier this month. Customers will now have to pay a basic charge of $9 a month. Before now, there was no minimum charge. Average customer bills will rise roughly $6.68 per month to $48.68.

Mississippi River Gas says it needed to increase rates because it lost a contract to supply Alcorn State University last year, and has been losing money.

The move came over protests from local governments in Tchula, Port Gibson, Fayette and Jefferson County.

The company’s last authorized rate increase for much of its territory was in 2005.

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