BAKER, LA (WAFB) - First responders are urging the Baker City Council to make a decision on a proposed water rate increase.
In June, the council voted against a rate hike that would roughly add $6 to a resident's monthly water bill. Seven months later, the council is still dealing with the issue.
Baker Mayor Harold Rideau said the increase would help several departments in hiring more people. Those include the police and the fire departments. Baker Fire Chief Danny Edwards said if the city doesn't come up with a solution soon, people will have more to deal with than a couple of dollars added to their water bill.
"We're looking at losing, possibly, our class two fire rating and going down to a class three," said Edwards. "If we do that, homeowners' insurance are going to go up and commercial rates are, too."
"It's not that bad, as long as we are not talking about an extra $20 on the bill," said Stevenson Clairborne, a barber in Baker.
Rideau said the bottom line is the city has to find some type of way to bring in revenue.
"I'm hopeful that the council can come together and reach some type of agreement. And, if it's not the water tax, maybe we can come up with some other idea," Rideau explained.
Rideau added public works, which is another department the increase would help, is currently short a dozen people.