FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The sewage rate hike will go toward reducing the amount of times the city's sewers overflow into the St. Joseph, St. Marys, and Maumee rivers. All required under a 2008 court order.
"We're at that critical point where we had to take care of the sewer repairs or the federal government would come in and do it, and we would have been charged a substantially higher amount to get our sewer systems up to speed," Councilwoman Michelle Chambers said.
Typical customers will see their monthly bills increase five percent over five years. For those struggling financially the city is looking for possible options to help.
"We are hoping to be able to have some grant dollars, or something like that to possibly in severe situations can seek some assistance. That has not been solidified yet, but we've been looking at all angles," Chambers explained.
The average customer bill would go from $43 to $54, and although increases are never fun when it's more money out of your pocket, some residents tell us they trust the decision.
"Anytime the city is trying to do something to advance the city but also make sure the city is safe for the people, sometimes costs are not easy to receive, but it's necessary to progress and go farther," Fort Wayne resident Robert Bell said.
City Utilities originally thought the rate would go as high as $72 per month, but said that's no longer the case. The exact date of the increase has not yet been set.