New Iberia Energy Rate Increase - KLFY News 10

New Iberia Energy Rate Increase

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Residents living in the city of New Iberia could be paying more for sewage at the beginning of the summer. At a council meeting Tuesday, a 30% hike fee was voted on 5-2.  And in a couple months, people could be paying more to flush, wash, and shower. Mayor Pro Tem, Dan Doerle, says it's something the city must do, since they're required to update their sewage system by 2015.

"We're mandated to do it," said Doerle. "So, it's not like we want to do it or we decided we'll do it next year. We have to do it (now)."

If the ordinance does get passed, residents can expect to pay 30% more per 2,000 gallons of water, which would bring their yearly sewage bill to around $78-per-year, up from $60-per year. Commercial businesses will go from $180-per-year to $234.  Although 30% may sound stiff, it could have been much higher. It took a lot of negotiation to keep the hike as low as possible.

"Administration came to us with some suggestions from consultants to go up to 45% at the 1st year, 5% the next year, 5% the next year, and 4%e very year after that," said Doerle.

And while the increase may be met with some disdain now, Doerle says the hike should have been implemented over a decade ago when the sewage user fee was first introduced.

"So, we're right where we should be if we implemented it in 2001, so it's a fair deal." said Doerle. "The citizens of New Iberia really gained 12 years without an increase." The sewage hike is up for the final vote from the city council April 2.

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