Government & Politics

Live blog recap: City Council approves water rate increase

The New Orleans City Council voted 5-2 to double water and sewer rates over the next eight years.

The proposed rate increase has roiled city politics in recent days after Council President Stacy Head called on her six colleagues to postpone the vote in order to obtain more information.

The city’s Sewerage & Water Board resisted efforts by Head and the independent Bureau of Governmental Research to explain how it would spend the $583 million in extra money it would collect through a 10 percent annual increase over eight years.

On Wednesday, at a special City Council hearing, water system officials finally spelled out some of the details. That came several hours after the Bureau of Governmental Research analyzed the proposed rate hike.

The Lens live-blogged the meeting:

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About Tyler Bridges

Tyler Bridges covers Louisiana politics and public policy for The Lens. He returned to New Orleans in 2012 after spending the previous year as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where he studied digital journalism. Prior to that, he spent 13 years as a reporter for the Miami Herald, where he was twice a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning teams while covering state government, the city of Miami and national politics. He also was a foreign correspondent based in South America. Before the Herald, he covered politics for seven years at The Times-Picayune. He is the author of The Rise of David Duke (1994) and Bad Bet on the Bayou: The Rise of Gambling in Louisiana and the Fall of Governor Edwin Edwards (2001). He can be reached at (504) 810-6222.