MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Light Gas & Water was denied a rate increase by city council members Tuesday.
The news upset utility president J.T. Young, who said the increase was needed to make upgrades to the utility’s infrastructure.
Those upgrades are meant to reduce the large number of power outages customers get when storms roll through. Repairs could also take longer.
“We’ll just Band-Aid the system and hope and pray that things don’t get too bad,” Young said. “But we’ll do what we gotta do to make sure things stay together as best as we can.”
The utility company wanted to raise electricity rates by an average of $5.47 in 2019 and then another $2.49 in 2021. Water and gas rates also would have increased.
Three of 10 council members voted for the increase.
The council also delayed approving MLGW’s operating budget for 2019 until after the new year.