ALEXANDRIA, La. (WNTZ) — In a display of frustration and solidarity, Alexandria utility customers gathered yesterday evening outside Alexandria City Hall for a peaceful protest, demanding answers and action against soaring utility bills, abrupt disconnects, and a lack of communication from city officials. The demonstration took place just before the city council meeting, with impassioned locals expressing concerns about the recently implemented Project R.E.S.T.O.R., aimed at creating a more affordable payment plan for residents with outstanding dues.
Local activist Ken Lee helped lead the rally, questioning the city’s recent actions. “OK, you go down the street disconnecting homes from power without their knowledge. We have people in our community whose livelihood depends on machines. What would the city have done if their greed cost a human life? This whole thing is reckless at the least, unless it’s purposeful,” Lee asserted.
Willie Chark, another vocal participant, emphasized the dire consequences of the utility crisis. “This peaceful protest is to bring awareness to the utility crisis of Alexandria. Over 5000 residents have been affected by this utility outage, and the mayor has yet to address the people or the community,” spoke Chark. He continued, “Our leaders know the citizens are struggling. Last city council meeting, citizens voiced their concerns, and they fell on deaf ears. It’s time for someone we put in leadership to fight for the people.”
Project R.E.S.T.O.R. Concerns
Project R.E.S.T.O.R., initiated earlier this year by the city, was intended to alleviate financial burdens on residents with outstanding utility payments. However, many feel disillusioned, with accusations that the new payment plan was not adequately communicated to the patrons.
“Some feel like they were duped into voting for something that doesn’t benefit the whole,” said Ken Lee, echoing the sentiments of alarmed citizens who believe they were not properly informed about the implications of Project R.E.S.T.O.R.
Protesters are demanding clear communication, an explanation of the utility crisis, and further planning to better accommodate residents facing hardships. The disconnects, lack of communication, and alleged failure of Project R.E.S.T.O.R. have left Alexandria utility customers feeling neglected and underserved.
As the city grapples with these issues, the call for accountability grows louder, with residents urging their elected officials to address the utility crisis promptly and devise effective solutions that consider the well-being of the community. The fate of Project R.E.S.T.O.R. and the resolution of Alexandria’s utility woes now rest in the hands of city leaders who must heed the concerns voiced by their constituents.