Residents and businesses in Ville Platte will soon see a 35 percent hike in their utility rates.
The city council approved the ordinance making it the first increase in 20 years. Residents will see that increase on August 1, 2019.
During the meeting, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said in the first year of increases residents will see an extra $8.35 per month. After that year, they will see $9.56 per month.
The council says the increase couldn’t be avoided but they’re hoping a gradual increase will soften the blow. Some are not happy with this decision one resident had to escorted out after voicing his concerns when the vote was done.
The reasons for the rate increase; the utility system is not generating revenue, bonds would not be able to be issued for water improvement projects and the city has to be in good financial standings with banks and loan agencies.
During Monday’s meeting some voiced their concerns believing the money could have been found elsewhere.
It has been explained by city leaders that the ordinance will help the city catch up to where rates would be if the increases had been made years ago. They say if they didn’t do it, the state would have.
“It’s been quite some time since we’ve had an increase,” city engineer Ronnie Landreneau said.
I think an increase was necessary as the council discussed tonight. Unfortunately, some people will be impacted and I know it may cost a bit more. But I think we all need to work together for a better community,”
But some think otherwise, “The increase is way to much. The problem is mismanagement of funds,” Rufus Searile said.
Some arguing that money should be taken from somewhere else in the budget so residents wouldn’t have to suffer.