MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis City Council voted to approve raises on both the stormwater and sewer fees on customer's MLGW bills.
The total raise will be approximately 50 percent--which will be split up into monthly phases over the next five years.
The stormwater charge, passed with a 10-1 vote, will go up from $4.02 to $6.03, and the sewer system charge, passed with a 12-0 vote, will go up from $2.27 to $3.32.
The increase in charges will go towards maintaining and improving the storm water and sewer systems.
The average citizen will see their monthly combined stormwater and sewer fees increase by a total of $8.98 in phases over the next five years, according to the Council.
For many, they said it will increase the difficulty they already have in paying their bill.
Stuart Breakstone, 26, said it's tough on him to pay his bills. He was angry when he learned he will soon have to pay even more.
"That's ridiculous. Minimum wage is what $8.25 and rent keeps going up because of the people that are moving here," Breakstone said. "Then, now they're saying utility bills are going to go up. I'm 26-years old and engaged. I can't afford to pay that much."
Breakstone wasn't the only one upset over the increase.
"I"m not in agreement with it," MLGW customer Charley Carney said. "I normally try to go along with the City Council so I just hope for the best."
The raises will fund more than $150 million in stormwater capital projects over the next 25 years and will finance most of the more than $872 million in capital needs for Memphis' sewer system.
The fee increase begins at the beginning of 2018.