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DWP Rate Hikes Get Initial Approval, Councilman Uses Death as One Reason

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Photo of the DWP Parking lot by Omar Omar via Flickr

This morning, the Los Angeles City Council gave a first round of approval for water and power rate hikes, saying infrastructure is needed to be updated. Over the next year and a half, monthly rates are expected to increase to around $7.25 (plus tax).

Both General Manager for the Department of Water and Power David Nahai and Councilman Bill Rosendahl pointed towards last week's death of firefighter Brent Lovrien as one example why the council should vote yes on the rate hikes, which they hint would be fixed if approved. Rosendahl went as far as holding a section of lead-jacketed conduit up in a dramatic speech discussing the death and calling for the replacement of 12,000 miles of old cable.

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But in fact, David Zahniser at the LA Times found out that "the DWP plans to use the money generated by the rate hike to replace 60 miles of high-voltage electrical cable each year... Under the current plan, none of the money will go toward secondary cable -- the kind labeled as a contributor to the Westchester explosion."

Emphasis added