Important Notice: Natural Gas Safety
Recently the Council approved of recommended rate increases on garbage collection, water and gas. It is never a popular thing to do to raise utility rates, but in fact utility rates across the entire nation are rising.
Gas prices are climbing every year and those rates are affected not only on local supply and demand but on world conditions. Unfortunately, much of the oil the United States uses is brought in from countries that are constantly battling internal politics. Additionally, regulations in America causes producers to have to spend more money on discovery and production of natural gas thereby increasing those prices to the end user.
Garbage collection and water rates are affected by the many regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Quality. The production of water is monitored from the intake in Bayou Teche to the point of use at the consumer's home or business.
Your council is obligated by law to maintain systems that are safe and regulated accordingly and must be stable enough to not only pay its own way but to provide funds for those days when replacement of equipment is necessary. Too often communities try to subsidize utility funds through sales taxes, occupational licenses or even traffic fines and find themselves in a real serious condition. Although it is not easy to increase rates, it is necessary to do the job you entrusted us with.
A real sad footnote to this story is that it is not likely that we will see utilities of any kind get cheaper in the future. We can only assure you that we will do our best to keep costs down, but it will never be at the expense of the safety of our citizens or our workers.