District 6 councilman Sam Dore was one of the deciding votes last month when the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority shot down a proposed LUS rate increase before it could go to the full council for a vote. With LUS now planning to re-introduce the proposal later this month, Dore, who was also just elected chair of the LPUA, has rethought his position. The councilman recently said he will vote for the item on the LPUA, to move it to a vote from the full council, but Dore now tells The Independent he will be supporting the proposal throughout the process and hopes to help rally other councilmen behind voting for the rate increase.
"I toured the plants," Dore says, "went and sat with [LUS Director] Terry Huval; we opened the books, we looked at everything." He continues: "It's just one of these deals, I mean, I don't want a rate increase any more than you do or anyone else, but it's just its time has come, and putting it off any more isn't going to help anything."
Dore says he voted against the proposal last year after he and other councilmen pleaded with Huval to put the issue off until the start of this year. Dore says they wanted more time to study the issue and consider some possible amendments to make the proposal more palatable. "I told them, I'm not against it, I'm just against it right now. It would not have passed on the council then anyway. That's where I was at then." Dore says the council is still looking at possible amendments, including spreading the rate increase out over three years. As it stands, the ordinance calls for a 7.5 percent increase over the next two years. The rate increase will come back before the LPUA for introduction on Jan. 19.