Nathan Stubbs

LUS rate increase coming back to council

by Nathan Stubbs

One month after being shot down by the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority, Lafayette Utilities System is once again going back to the LPUA and city-parish council to ask for permission for a rate increase. Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel announced Thursday that the LUS rate ordinance will be resubmitted for formal introduction at upcoming meetings on Jan. 19. The announcement came during a media tour of LUS' facilities.

“The longer we delay on these upgrades, the costlier the upgrades will become,” LUS Director Terry Huval states in a press release.  “We have already had to make major cuts in our expenditures due to the failure to get these new revenues authorized last year, so it is critical that we get the necessary funding now before the quality of services begins to suffer.”

As with the previous rate ordinance, which was first introduced in September 2009 and eventually failed before the LPUA in December 2009, LUS is proposing a two-year increase on its electric, water and wastewater systems. LUS says the rate adjustments are needed for critical upgrades and improvements to the utility system and to cover the rising costs to provide electric, water and sewer services. The impact is expected to raise utility bills approximately 7 percent, but LUS says that lower fuel costs expected throughout 2010 mean that customers likely won't see any significant impact to their utility bills until 2011, when the economy is expected to be in better shape.

“The residents and businesses of Lafayette count on reliable LUS services to conduct their businesses and their lives," said Durel. "Without passage of this rate ordinance, utility service interruptions will increase in the future. The time to deal with this issue pro-actively is now."