Columbus residents are on track to see their water and sewer bills increase about 40 percent in the next three years beginning July 1.
The city council gave its first-reading approval on the rate adjustment Tuesday night. Final approval is scheduled for June 15.
Mayor Jim Lienhoop says it’s been 25 years since rates have increased, and the city is running out of cash for improvements.
“We've got some sewer lines in the city that are 100 years old, and they're doing what you would think a sewer line 100 years old would do in many cases, they collapse or we've ended up with sinkholes.”
Lienhoop says the city also needs to add sewer capacity on the west side serving hotels and restaurants near I-65.
An average residential bill of $41 would increase to $49 this August, then to $54 in 2023 and $57 in 2024.
City leaders say Columbus has one of the least expensive sewer and water rates in the state.