EUGENE, Ore. — A 4.5-percent electric rate increase and a 3-percent water increase, that’s what EWEB is considering effective early next year.
The Eugene Water and Electric Board Commissioners held the first of two public hearings Tuesday night on the increase.
EWEB says it’s already had to defer capital projects and eliminate 50 positions to slowly return to financial stability, but it still needs to make budget cuts.
For someone in an apartment the average increase would be about $5 a month. A single family home about $6.19 cents a month. Only two people showed up to offer public comment on this issue.
“The electric bill on my house is $51 that is going to mean about a $2 a month increase, I think I can handle that,” said one Eugene resident during the public comment period.
“I am in favor of a rate hike if you need it, but I would like to see the money that is done for the rate hike to support infrastructure,” said another Eugene resident.
“If there was anyway to not do a rate increase we would have done it,” said Joe Harwood, EWEB Spokesman. “But you can’t cut your way out of this problem without sacrificing reliability of the electric and water rate system.”
A second hearing is scheduled for December 3. A decision is expected later that night.