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Council delays decision on DWP rates

March 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Despite being told that blackouts and poor water quality were likely to occur without major infrastructure upgrades, the Los Angeles City Council postponed a vote Tuesday on the Department of Water and Power's proposed rate increases. The council voted 11-2 to delay a decision until April 2.

The plans included increasing base power rates by 8½ percent and water rates by more than six percent in July of next year.

The increase would boost revenues for the agency.

The DWP's general manager says the utility must increase rates to pay for electrical and structural upgrades.

"In 2007 again, in that heatwave another 75,000 customers suffered from outages. We are seeing every day different problems with different pieces of infrastructure around the city which is just old. Our infrastructure is between 40 to 70-years-old," said David Nahai, G.M. DWP.

"Oh, its like everything else it keeps on going up higher and faster than my salary. I guess we need everything reparied because it has been so long. I would rather have power and turn my tap on and have water come out," said Teresa Yamamoto, DWP customer.

The council will also consider a recommendation to increase subsidies for low-income customers from 15 percent to 20 percent.

 

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