The Los Angeles City Council's rejection of a .7-cents-per-kilowatt-hour rate hike sought by the Department of Water and Power for electricity customers could put the city deeper in the whole by helping to expand its current deficit from $212 million to as much as $290 million.

In a Thursday letter to DWP interim general manager David S. Freeman, city controller Wendy Greuel said that if the department withholds a promised $73.5 million from the city's general fund — as the DWP threatened if it didn't get its way — L.A. would end up with $275 to $290 million deficit, and that's before an additional $485 million in red ink slated to slap City Hall come July 1.

In the letter, distributed to the Weekly and other media outlets, Greuel says she wants the DWP to indicate by Tuesday whether or not that payment is coming.

“With the city facing such a dire fiscal situation it is critical that we have the most up-to-date information on the city's cash flow, so we can plan for any additional shortfall,” Greuel writes.

LA Weekly