It’s official: Huntington Beach natural gas users will be saddled with a franchise fee that will generate a projected $1.7 million annually for the city’s general fund.

Residents, on average, will pay about 33 cents more per month than they do now. Commercial users would pay $2.37 more per month, industrial users $2.50 more per month. Two “electric generation” users — companies that take natural gas and convert it into electricity — will be paying about $19,000 more per month.

The new fees are the result of the expiration last year of a deal the city had with SoCalGas, which generated $1.5 million annually for the general fund. SoCalGas insisted on a new deal that is more in line with franchise agreements it has with other cities. The result would have reduced the franchise fee and cut general fund revenue to the city by $650,000.

The new deal, which first saw approval at the City Council meeting on May 3, was given final approval last night with no deliberation.

— ADAM ELMAHREK

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