MLGW: What’s next after council denies initial rate hikes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis City Council might have voted against two MLGW rate increase proposals but that doesn't mean it's off the table. MLGW's president says the increases would have gone towards substation updates and would help reduce the number of outages during a storm.

However, the MLGW budget has not been officially voted on.

The cost of a cup of Starbucks coffee is how much more the average customer would’ve been paying per month.

In total, $4.24 in 201 and a few cents more in 2019.

For gas that was a 4.5 percent increase, and for electric a 2.3 percent increase.

MLGW says they haven’t had a rate increase for electric in 14 years and for gas, its been a decade.

City Council voted no on both rate increases.

Current MLGW President Jerry Collins is set to retire soon but said he has a one year rate increase plan the council could consider.

"But if that's not the case the actions we would take is we would have to borrow a lot more money than we originally intended to borrow for capital improvements," President Collins said. "Some of the capital improvements that we planned would have to be postponed until later years."

 Collins says the money generated from the rate increases would go to substation upgrades, improving reliability of electric distribution and special switches. "So when you have a storm come through it would impact maybe a third or fourth as many customers as it would otherwise."

In a city council recap today, Chairman Berlin Boyd said the issue was too important to not take the time to carefully consider what MLGW was requesting.

So the council decided to hold off on voting on all proposals and the MLGW budget until their next meeting.

"The whole issue may be open a little bit again to the word compromise," Mayor Jim Strickland said.

 The council did sign off on an 18 cent water rate increase. WREG will keep you posted with what the council decides on the full budget.