MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s easy to forget things. With the world on a virtual lockdown because of COVID-19, it’s been pretty much the only topic of conversation.
But there are other things going on.
On July first, it’s going to cost Memphis Light, Gas and Water customers 3% more for power. The money raised will be used to fix the company’s creaking infrastructure.
The council voted against every MLGW rate hike request over the last few years. Every summer, when it rained, the power went out.
This year, Memphis City Council member Martavius Jones says, “We just couldn’t keep kicking the can down the road.”
Sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River is the River Tower @ South Bluffs. Dr. Wayne Capooth is a member of the resident’s committee.
“We sent the Mayor and the City Council letters on March 31st”, he said. “We asked them to postpone the planned rate increase until the financial hardships have receded somewhat.”
Thousands of people lost their jobs when non-essential businesses were ordered to close because of the coronavirus. Councilman Jones says he knows it’s tough going, but the rate increase will result in service improvements that will help the entire city.
But Dr. Capooth and his group are still pushing for a delay.
He says, “This will not only have an impact in terms of economic strength for not only our low-income households, but it will also affect the middle class, the elderly, actually the majority of MLGW customers.”
MLGW has stopped cutting services to people who can’t afford to pay their bills because of the coronavirus.