MLGW moves ahead with proposed rate hike

MLGW moves ahead with proposed rate hike

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - MLGW is taking another swing to boost rates.

It’s a counter-proposal to convince those council members who did not support the last proposal.

For years, power outages have plagued Memphis residents whenever a storm comes through.

However, MLGW is now one step closer to making much-needed repairs to the infrastructure in the city.

Tuesday, a city council committee approved a gradual rate increase for MLGW customers.

MLGW said at the end of the five years of gradual increases, the average customer would pay an additional $18 a month to fund the needed capital improvement projects.

“No one wants to pay more but I think what’s outweighing that in some minds is that they want better quality of service,” said MLGW President J.T. Young.

Young once again appeared before the city council committee, asking for an increase to generate enough money to repair and update MLGW's outdated grid, along with several other infrastructure upgrade projects.

MLGW to propose updated rate increase

“I am optimistic,” Young said. “I think that the newest option proposed at the request of the council, Councilwoman Robinson is one that It still allows us to do what we’d like to do.”

That plan proposed by councilwoman Patrice Robinson would postpone the on average two percent rate increase until 2020, but still allow for MLGW to get a jump start on capital improvements.

Upgrading the outdated grid would be first on the list, which would provide more reliable service for all customers.

“I am hoping that the council members will embrace this new plan or some form of it because we can make some changes to that plan, but we need to move forward with some plan,” Robinson said.

Without more cash coming in, Young said don't expect your service to get better anytime soon.

“At some point we have to say enough is enough and we got to make those changes in the infrastructure, or we are all going to be in trouble,” Robinson said.

MLGW presented the full council with the alternative rate increase options at Tuesday’s meeting.

It goes for a vote on February 5.

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