City Council Proposal Would Scrap LP&L Rate Hike for 2014/2015

Published 07/06 2014 03:33PM

Updated 07/06 2014 05:01PM

Robertson (left), Hernandez (right), images from City of Lubbock
Robertson (left), Hernandez (right), images from City of Lubbock
LUBBOCK, TX -- The City Council might not go along with a proposed 5.75% increase in electric rates for the coming year.  The Electric Utility Board which oversees Lubbock Power & Light submitted a proposed budget for fiscal year 2014/2015 that includes a price hike for electricity.  Both Mayor Glen Robertson and City Councilman Victor Hernandez have submitted separate proposals asking LP&L to go back to the drawing board.

Mayor Robertson’s proposal said, “The City Council of the City of Lubbock is not presently supportive of an increase in electric rates.”

It also said the City Council supports the EUB’s “valuable” role.   

It continued, “The City Council directs that the EUB reexamine the proposed fiscal year 2014-2015 budget for the Electric Utility, and promptly resubmit a budget proposal to the City Council that is not inclusive of a rate increase.”

Robertson said, “I think there’s support for the rate increase. But if not, but it’s better for them to rearrange their budget instead of the city manager.”

Councilman Hernandez’ proposal is similar in many ways, saying in part, “The City Council of the City of Lubbock might not be supportive of an increase in electric rates.”

But Hernandez’ proposal is significantly different in that he recommends a reduction in one or more customary payments from LP&L to the City of Lubbock including a franchise fee, the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes), and street lights.  Hernandez’ proposal would also allow LP&L to reduce or eliminate its subsidy of utility relocation in downtown Lubbock. 

Robertson thought Hernandez proposal was flawed, saying, He’s either gonna have to cut other services in the general fund or increase property taxes. 

Hernandez has not yet returned a call for comment.   An invitation to comment has also been left for LP&L’s spokesman.  Look for an update if that invitation is accepted.

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