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LaGrange council approves update to senior utility discount

The LaGrange City Council voted unanimously to approve changes to the utilities discount program for seniors on Tuesday. 

The updated utility discount would take into account the recent utility rate increases to ensure that older citizens living on fixed income are not negatively impacted by the change. 

The update has been under discussion since soon after the rate increase was first discussed, and the discount is expected to cancel out the increase for residents eligible for the discount.

“To me and you it probably doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but for folks living on a fixed income, it means a lot,” said Council Member Jim Arrington, who originally proposed the update. “They can save $7, $8, $10 a month that may need to go toward medicine or rent.”

During the council’s discussion of the increase in July, City Manager Meg Kelsey explained how the changes to the utility discount would work.

“As you know, the average rate of our increase was $3 [per month for electricity],” City Manager Meg Kelsey said. 

“I think from a staff perspective, if council wants to help senior citizens with this rate increase, we would recommend doing $3, so going from $8 to $11 per month. This would annually cost you about $26,000. On the gas side, we would recommend going up $2.45 to $6.30. It would cost you about $17,000 a year on that.”

At that time it was estimated that 726 people use the electricity discount, 603 for gas and 771 for water.

The LaGrange City Council is scheduled to meet again on Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m. at 208 Ridley Avenue.