City Council to discuss options concerning LP&L at special called meeting

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Updated: 7/29/2013 7:40 pm
City Council members will consider some options Tuesday on how to fix the billing mess at LP&L. 

"Everyone is concerned and everybody wants to find a solution in balancing some competing needs," Councilman Victor Hernandez said. "The financial status of LP&L on one hand, and the impact that our decision-making has on the average citizen."

Hernandez said the rate payers will be the ones to foot the bill one way or another, but is proposing some options he said could soften the blow. 

"One of these options is to transfer back to the general fund the cost of street lights," Hernandez said. "One of these options is to put a moratorium on the amount of franchise fees paid by Lubbock Power and Light to the general fund."

"There may be some other options that would have less effect on the tax rate than those."

Councilwoman Latrelle Joy said some of what Hernandez is proposing isn't in the hands of the council. 

"When we had the charter amendment, we separated those functions, and we're very limited to what we can do," Joy said. "We can approve their rate increases, their budgets, that sort of thing. When it comes to micro-managing how they operate over there? We really can't do that. Now, we do things that might affect how they operate. For example, one of the suggestions was to rescind the rate increase, and that would certainly affect how they operate."

When it comes to rolling back that rate increase, Joy said it's not that simple. 

"We've already been through this period of the rate adjustment," Joy said, "and if you turned around and did another rate adjustment, you may not only have a computer nightmare, but also, you're going to have a loss to LP&L."

There is also talk of making LP&L a completely separate entity. Joy said a charter election is the only way to make that happen, and now isn't the right time to put the idea on the table. 

The special called council meeting begins at 6 p.m. The Electric Utility Board will then meet Wednesday. Members of the council and the board will attend both meetings. 
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Liberty Seeker - 7/29/2013 10:59 PM
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This proposal is within the authority of the council. Lower the residential water meter fee from 21 to 5 dollars. Set the sewer fee to half of the consumed water fee (not consumption plus meter fee). Eliminate the storm water fee. This should reduce the average bill by about 44 dollars a month, which should offset some of the municipal billing disaster. Don't micromanage LP&L. Just eliminate the hidden taxes or immediately resign from office, so that your replacements can get rid of the hidden taxes. If necessary, petitions can be used to assist in your removals from office.
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