Email comments overwhelmingly oppose LG&E fee - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Email comments overwhelmingly oppose LG&E fee

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Mayor Greg Fischer has said he wants the 3 percent rate increase to pay for additional public safety and neighborhood center spending. Mayor Greg Fischer has said he wants the 3 percent rate increase to pay for additional public safety and neighborhood center spending.
Councilman David James Councilman David James

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - People who wrote emails and made phone calls to the Louisville Metro Council hotline have been overwhelmingly opposed to a proposed fee hike on natural gas users.

Since Mayor Greg Fischer on May 22 proposed a fee increase on Louisville Gas and Electric's gas customers, 173 people have told council members they don't support it. Only three said they backed the plan, according to correspondence reviewed by WAVE 3 News.

Fischer has said he wants the 3 percent rate increase -- about $20 a year for the average customer -- to pay for additional public safety and neighborhood center spending.

Council Democrats didn't dispute the numbers but said the emails and phone calls didn't tell the whole story. Some messages were identical, as if people copied and pasted the same message.

"There have been some people sending in emails, and many people send in emails when the council has a hot topic we're going to be voting on," said David James, a Democrat who declined to say how he would vote.

Democrats said they have enough votes to pass the measure during a vote planned for Thursday. If it passes, it would allow Fischer to negotiate up to the 3 percent rate increase.

Greater Louisville, Inc., urged its members last week to oppose the measure, even sending out an email blast that spammed at least one Metro Council member.

Fischer has proposed spending about $6.8 million more next year to hire 24 extra police officers, increase police overtime while the recruits train, add civilians to watch surveillance cameras and upgrade neighborhood centers.

He would also provide the Commonwealth's Attorney office with an additional prosecutor for heroin cases.

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