MLGW customers to see increase on next water bill

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Light, Gas and Water customers will soon see an increase in their bill after the Memphis City Council approved a proposed rate increase on Tuesday.

During a vote Tuesday night, council members voted to increase water prices, but electricity rates will stay the same.

That means the only increase customers will see is 45 cents a month in their water bills starting next month.

Last week the council denied an increase in gas prices.

MLGW has argued for more than two months about the need for an increase in utility prices, citing the need to improve aging infrastructure.

Two weeks ago when the council met, many members were hesitant to sign off on a proposed five-year plan that by the end of the plan was estimated to increase the average user on their total bill around $15 to $18 more. Council members encouraged MLGW President J.T. Young and his team to reach out to the community, educating them directly about why the increases are needed.

When Young spoke at a meeting with people in Whitehaven, the numbers were a bit different than the last time. He said the increase is to be phased in over five years.

At that point, your average resident would be paying roughly $6 more for electricity every month, along with an extra $2 for gas and $3 for water — a total of $11.54.

Councilman Worth Morgan said that if the council doesn’t sign off on the increases and stays with the status quo now, they’ll have to bring it up again in the future.

“Then we’re gonna have another debate, discussion on this in October of this year for the next MLGW budget,” he said. “This is something that’s not going away. At some point we’re going to have to replace the infrastructure and I think it’s better to do it now then kick the can down the road for political reasons.”

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