In advance of next month’s city council vote, both SAWS and CPS Energy are on a city-wide roadshow promoting their proposed rate increases.
Representatives tried to make their separate cases before a gathering of District 3 constituents Monday evening at the Harlandale Community Center.
Council member Rebecca Viagran said, “District 3 has the second lowest per capita income in all of the city.”
However, Viagran's constituents are being asked by CPS Energy to pay 4.25 percent more on their monthly bills starting in February, while SAWS wants two hikes over two years, each just over 5 percent, beginning the first of next year.
“That is something that is of concern, but what is also of concern to me is we have an aging infrastructure when it comes to SAWS and CPS Energy,” Viagran said.
Augie Mora, who attended the meeting, said he understands the dilemma.
"I hate to have an increase, but we need to keep up with the modern world. We have to keep up. The city has to grow,” Mora said.
However, Maria Luisa Alvarado said she was worried about many of her elderly neighbors on fixed incomes.
Alvarado said, “They make decisions between buying their medications or paying their bills. That is the honest to goodness truth.”
Viagran said the challenge is trying achieve the needed balance between serving those on limited incomes while still planning for the future growth.