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Sewer rates return to the table in Monroe

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - In a 4 to 1 vote, the proposal introducing an ordinance to flush the city law raising sewer rates has passed. One resident agrees with the council's decision.

"I think they need to rescind it and let the citizens have more input," Nell Bradley said.

Currently, homeowners are coughing up $2.29 for every 1,000 gallons. Next Tuesday, that rate is scheduled to increase to $3.55 for every 1,000 gallons. Plus, the original ordinance, given the thumbs up last year, calls for the rate to increase slightly every year.

"Senior citizens are the ones paying the bills today," Wayne Heckford said. "Those young folks aren't working. So, how are they paying the bills?"

Council Chair Eddie Clark doesn't agree with coming out of pocket more and more every year.

"Maybe we need to stay where we are and have those discussions on the automatic increase," Council member Gretchen Ezernack said.

Ezernack is the only member for the original ordinance, but maybe amending parts of it. Mayor Jamie Mayo agrees on not completely washing away the entire ordinance.

"I thought it would jeopardize our current situation with the justice department," Mayor Jamie Mayo said.

A ruling must come soon. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department is keeping an eye on what's going down the drain inside this chamber. The 2004 Clean Water Act Consent Decree calls for the city to make improvements to it's sewage system especially when it comes to overflows.

City leaders say they'll make a final decision on what to do next meeting.

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