By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Water & Light revises water pact

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Kind of shady business practice for a publicly owned entity, wouldn't you say. But then, Water and Light have been doing what ever they want for as long as I've been a customer. Example, my girlfriend, in a low, low income household and a "leap"(low income energy assistance program) recipient, recently had her electricity disconnected for over a month because of a past due bill. Upon reviewing her final bill sent after the disconnect, we discovered she still had a $135 credit from "leap" on the electric portion of her bill. And since leap can't be used towards anything but electric or gas services. the water and sewer became more than 60 past due. when we called them on this they said "its our policy to disconnect electric service for any portion of the light, water or sewer bill that becomes past due more than 60 days. Noting, "it gets the customers attention quicker than the water disconnect does". Doesn't that kinda go against what the whole "leap" program was created for? To keep the electricity on in low income households??? Oh yeah, and they also reminded me that since they're publicly owned, they don't have to abide by any PUC rules or guidelines. And the rates for utility services in McMinnville are constantly rising to "meet the rising costs of providing such services"?? If they have to raise rates to meet the costs of providing said services, how did they come up all that MW&L surplus money from utility fees to kick in and buy all those new Dodge Chargers for the police dept.??If they have that much of a surplus from customer utility fees collected, it sounds like the current rates are already MORE than meeting the costs of providing utility services. Perhaps its time to have an out side agency audit our MW&L

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