TAMPA, Fla. — If you live in the City of Tampa, you'll be shelling out a little more every month for your water.
The city council approved a $2.9 billion utility rate increase Thursday night. It will fund the most expensive infrastructure project in the city's history, replacing aging water and sewer systems to prevent the frequent water main breaks and cave-ins across the city.
The average customer will pay about $40 more by 2028, increasing a $41.29 bill to nearly $80 over nine years.
You'll see the first increase in your monthly bill starting with November's billing cycle. It'll go up about an average of $5.
The vote to increase utility rates passed 6-1. Council member John Dingfelder was the only one to vote no, with concerns about the length of the program.
After Thursday night's vote, Mayor Jane Castor's office released the following statement:
"Strong cities around the world are built on their foundation- safe neighborhoods, reliable city services and steady fiscal stewardship. Tampa’s vote for P.I.P.E.S. was for a historic investment in rebuilding and maintaining Tampa’s water infrastructure and Councilman Luis Viera, Charlie Miranda, Guido Maniscalco, Joe Citro, Bill Carlson and Orlando Gudes rose to the occasion as they voted to invest in Tampa’s aging infrastructure. While it’s disappointing that those chose to ignore the inevitable, I’m encouraged that all of Tampa’s neighborhoods will have a sustainable infrastructure for decades to come."
For families that may struggle to afford the utility rate increases, the city says it will offer some help to about 30,000 customers.