City Council tables water rates decision until Monday - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/5/09

City Council tables water rates decision until Monday

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock City Council's vote on Lubbock's water rate hike is postponed.

Last week, on its first reading, the council approved a 42 percent water rate increase, but said they were displeased with the surprisingly high jump and wanted to see some changes.

Thursday, council members tabled the issue until Monday because, while they're getting closer to a plan they will support, they say they're not quite there yet. "A lot of people have called me that were very upset and basically shocked about the water rate increases," said Mikel Ward to the city council. 

Ward debated until late Wednesday night whether or not to go to city council Thursday morning to voice her opinion on the water rate hike. She decided she couldn't stay quiet any longer, and at 7 a.m. went to tell the council she thinks it's a mistake to support the water rate increase as it was proposed. "I think a lot of us would be happier with slightly less on the base rate," she said. 

Councilman John Leonard said enough council members agreed with what Ward said that the rate hike wouldn't pass as is, so they tabled the issue until a special meeting on Monday. Leonard would like to see the increase spread out over a longer period of time. He's not sure they can do that, but at least he thinks they can lessen the burden on lower income residents.

"I think we're going to adjust our base rates and our volume rates so that the higher volume users will absorb a little bit more of the increase. The lower volume, the low income, fixed income, elderly, if they continue to use water at their current rate will feel less of an impact under what I think will be a compromise agreement come Monday," said Leonard.

NewsChannel 11 will be at City Hall on Monday to break down the numbers of the new proposal and tell you how it will affect your checkbook.

3/4/09
Increase in water rates spurs community reaction
NewsChannel 11 went out to see what Lubbock citizens thought about the price jump. We wanted the opinions of those who actually foot the bill and what they said was no surprise.

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