BWL Rate Increase Proposal

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

BWL held a public hearing on their proposals Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. It began with a recommendation to their board of commissioners, recommendations for an increase they said they need in their tough economic times.

The company's asking their board of commissioners to approve a three percent increase for electric rates, 6.5 percent on water this year, and another 6.5 in 2006. They say that means an extra $1.08 on an average electric bill. It's also a $1.00 increase for average water customers.

It's paying for more than the cost of inflation. That BWL blames on their own exploding health care costs, and a big drop in what they're taking in.

"A large part of that is the closure of the GM plants in town," explains spokesperson John Strickler.

This is not a done deal, though it's a powerful recommendation.

"Historically, the board takes very seriously what staff tells it," Strickler says.

The board will vote May 24. If the increase passes, it takes effect July 1.


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