Mayor Bill Benton said it best at Tuesday’s Rosenberg City Council meeting: Nobody likes rate increases.

Which is why council members took action on a rate case involving CenterPoint’s application to increase distribution rates in the cities within its service area.

Council members voted unanimously for suspension of rate case involving CenterPoint’s application. This is the seventh year in a row that CenterPoint has requested to raise the rates.

“Essentially, this will put CenterPoint on notice that these rates need to be reviewed by the city,” City Manager John Maresh explained to council. “In all likelihood, CenterPoint will appeal this to the Railroad Commission and the Railroad Commission will take the case and look through all their documentation to look at what (rate) is reasonable.

“This is per state law, so this is the process we have to follow.”

CenterPoint will have 45 days to appeal the decision to the Public Utility Commission. The impact on an average residential customer would be an increase of 67 cents per month, city staff noted.

“If CenterPoint doesn’t agree, they can appeal this to the state and conduct the rate case and make the final determination of what’s fair and reasonable,” Maresh continued.

He added that if council doesn’t take action to suspend it, the rate increase would be automatically approved.

“Considering what we just went through with the freeze, I don’t think the coalition will approve it,” council member Marc Morales noted.

Benton made a motion to suspend the rate increase. The motion was seconded by council member Herb Phelan and passed unanimously.

“Nobody likes rate increases,” Benton said before moving on to the next item on Tuesday’s agenda.

The next council meeting will be held April 20 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, located at 2110 Fourth St.

Citizens will be allowed to attend council meetings, but seating will be limited and masks will be recommended and encouraged. There will also be mandatory temperature checks.

Email comments to dswint@rosenbergtx.gov.

Meetings can also be watched live on the city’s YouTube Channel “RosenbergTXGov,” on the city’s website at www.rosenbergtx.gov/tv, and on Comcast Channel 16 for residents within the city limits.

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