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Water Rates Going Up For Most Charlotte Residents

Starting in July, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility customers will see a new monthly fee of about $6 on their water bills. The city council approved the new fee and other rate changes last night that mean 94 percent of water users will have higher bills. However, bills for the highest water users go down as much as $40 a month because of a change in sewer rates. Utility Director Barry Gullet insists that does not run counter to the city's focus on conserving water. "The purpose of this rate methodology study was not to change our conservation incentive at all," Gullet told the City Council on Monday night. "The purpose is to maintain a conservation incentive, but to do so in a fair an equitable way so people are paying for the services they're receiving." Gullet says people who use more than 13,000 gallons of water a month have been paying for more sewer services than they actually use. Those charges will go down beginning this summer.