MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Memphis Light Gas and Water and rate hike requests.
Boy. We’ve been talking about this all year. And it was like we will be talking about it right up until the end of this year.
Memphis City Council members were told about cuts in insurance for MLGW retirees – how they would have to pay more.
This was a huge issue earlier this year, when the council refused to give them an increase, and told J.T. Young and others at MLGW to start cutting.
“They came back with a lot of good recommendations that I believe will help trim some of the fat,” says Memphis City Councilman Ford Canale, “… and maybe a little bit of waste involved.”
The rationale is, if the company wants to raise rates by an average – an average – of $14 a month, then the company needs to run a tight ship, including changing a retirees’ insurance plan that has MLGW paying 75% of all health costs after someone works 12 years.
“I just want to be able to face my constituents and know we’ve done everything that we could,” Canale says. “So if we have to vote on a rate increase, to repair infrastructure – which in my opinion was kicked down the road far too long – then I could, in good conscious, vote for a rate increase knowing we did everything else we could do.”
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland doesn’t get a chance to vote on this but says all that rate increase money better go to the $1 billion in repairs needed for the infrastructure.
“If you’re asking the citizens to sacrifice and pay more,” the Mayor says, “… then you need to prove that your organization is as efficient as possible. That’s what we do at City Hall, and that’s what I think they’re trying to do at MLGW.”
Councilman Canale says the council could make its final vote on MLGW at their last meeting of the year, next month.