MLGW works to convince customers that rate hike is needed

MLGW works to convince customers that rate hike is needed

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Light Gas and Water is continuing to meet with customers. The utility will hold a town hall meeting in South Memphis on Tuesday, after hosting one in Cordova on Monday to let people know about proposed rate hikes and have them offer feedback.

A lot of customers said they aren't yet convinced about new utility rate increases, but MLGW leaders said they are needed to keep the power grid running.

CEO J.T. Young explained that MLGW is looking to raise rates by an average of $12.29 per month over five years, starting in 2019.

Young said this is to provide reliable service. Without the money, he said there will be no improvements and outages will continue to happen.

Some customers in Cordova said they want more specifics.

"Individuals need to know what's going on with their money, how their money is being used and how they get the best use of their money," Cate Bradshaw said.

"I'm not in favor of it until they can show me that they're reducing the costs by an appropriate amount," Wayne Maxcy added.

Any rate increase must be approved by city council.

City council has backed a plan that would gradually increase bills by $11.54, starting next year.

Council will take up the issue again at its meeting on February 19.

The South Memphis meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Glenview Community Center.

Young will also answer questions on Facebook Live at 1 p.m.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.