The Ville Platte City Council is looking to increase utility rates by an average 35%. It would be the first increase in 20 years.
Some people voiced their frustrations about the hike during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Now, the council is looking at ways to increase rates gradually over time.
“I’m on a fixed income. I don’t mind a gradual increase. It’s not my fault because 20 years ago, y’all didn’t go up. It’s not my fault because 10 years ago, y’all didn’t go up. We’re right here now. We need to do something, but you can’t put all of that on the people,” said a woman in attendance.
While most say the rate increase is unacceptable, for the council, it can’t be avoided.
“If we don’t do something, we’re going to lose our city; the state’s going to have to take over,” said Councilman Mike Perron.
The city is being forced to raise its rates by its bond holders. The city’s bond and finance manager reported that the city must be able to support itself and show a profit.
“That’s an extreme situation, and that’s the kind of situation we want to avoid. When you run a bond covenant, you have to meet and be in compliance of that bond covenant, and we want to be in compliance and not let that happen.”
The ordinance will be reworked to see how they can slowly bring the increase.
It will be presented at another special meeting to hear from the public.