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EVANGELINE PARISH, La (KLFY) — A Ville Platte resident irate over high utility bills drove to Baton Rouge to speak with the Louisiana Public Service Commission. Arthur Sampson, Jr. explains to commission the increased dollar amounts customers say they are paying.

Sampson showed the commission the utility bills of residents.

“We’re the one who votes for you all. Those big corporations come in here, we probably have a bunch of them here today.  They come to you all, but we vote for you,” Sampson said.

Sampson says the charges are affecting people with fixed incomes, low income, single parents, and disabled citizens.

In a written complaint, Sampson questioned the legality of the rate increases and accuses CLECO of overcharging.

“I’m just saying, is there anything that can use with this because it doesn’t make sense,” Sampson explained.
Commissioner Lambert C. Boissiere, III asked someone from CLECO to step forward. John Shirley says he’s a CLECO representative. 

Shirley explains some of the reasons for the higher-than-normal bills.

“The fact we do not get insurance. That fact that no electric company in the country can get insurance anymore,” Shirley.

Also, Sampson wants money Ville Platte gets from CLECO every year in the form of a franchise fee, to be given to help residents.

“I get lots of complaints by CLECO myself. I’m just not in the CLECO territory. I don’t have a lot of impact on CLECO. That doesn’t mean I’m not concerned.  I’d like to meet with you further and maybe after the meeting get some information from you,” Commissioner Boissiere added.

Evangeline Parish is within the district of Commissioner Mike Francis.

Francis explains to Sampson he may have something with the idea of the city handing over that franchise fee from CLECO to help residents.