PLAQUEMINE, La. (BRPROUD) — After receiving an influx of letters and calls from residents upset over the high cost of utility bills, Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. sets the “record straight” in a letter Wednesday.

Ourso reiterates that the parish council doesn’t provide electrical services in the parish and outlines what the Parish Utility Department does provide. In the letter, he tells residents that he nor the council has the authority to review or determine utility rates for the city’s utility department.

The parish president cites that costly bills are possibly due to the cost of natural gas, inflation and increased temperatures.

Read Ourso’s full letter below:

I received letters and numerous phone calls from residents who receive utility service from the City of Plaquemine complaining about the high cost of electrical service provided by the City. Due to the letters and number of calls I have received from Plaquemine residents complaining about their high utility bill received from the City of Plaquemine this month, I feel obligated to address this important issue facing so many Plaquemine residents. The Parish’s Office of Community Services has also been inundated with calls requesting utility assistance for their high utility bill from the City of Plaquemine.

To set the record straight, the Iberville Parish Council does NOT provide any electrical service within Iberville Parish. The Parish Utility Department only provides natural gas, some sewer and water services to areas outside of the City of Plaquemine. All ELECTRICITY service in Iberville Parish is provided by the City of Plaquemine, Entergy or Pointe Coupee Electric. The City owns and operates its own electrical system. The City of Plaquemine has the sole authority to set its electrical rates for all customers using Plaquemine electrical service for their home or business. The Plaquemine City Council and Mayor are responsible for establishing all utility rates provided by the City of Plaquemine Utility Department (City Light and Water Plant).

I understand the financial hardships of so many citizens affected by the high electrical bills. I also live within the City and my home utility bill for August 2022 was $618.81. My good neighbor, Sheriff Brett Stassi, informed me his August 2022 utility bill was $739.00. The Iberville Parish Council or Parish President have NO authority to address the utility set by the City of Plaquemine. I am sure the high cost of natural gas, inflation and excessive temperatures during the last several months have all contributed to the high utility bills. The City Light & Water Office should be contacted for any questions you may have related to your August 2022 utility bill. The City of Plaquemine Regular Council meeting is held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month and residents may appear before the City Council to address their concerns regarding utility bills.

We know that the high utility bills are of major concern to you. However, neither the Iberville Parish Council nor Parish President have any authority to review or set utility rates for the City of Plaquemine Utility Department.

Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr.