It's no April Fool's joke. Columbia County homeowners will see an increase in their water and sewer bills this month.
County commissioners agreed last year to raise water and sewer services rates by 2.9 percent. The increase started in March, and the added expense will be on April water bills.
"It's just the cost of doing business, brother," said Billy Clayton, the director of the water utilities department.
The increase equates to about 75 cents more a month on the average water bill, Clayton said.
The increase is necessary to keep up with inflation and the rising costs of utilities, chemicals and manpower, Clayton said.
The water and sewer bill typically increases by about 3 percent each year, he said.
"What we used to do is wait four or five years and go up 20 or 25 percent," Clayton said. "That never sat well with anyone.
"Rather than do that, since the early 1990s we have tried to make small moves every year. It truly does have less of an impact on folks' budgets."
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