Bellingham, WA -- The Bellingham City Council approved five more years of increases in water, sewer, and storm water rates at last night's council meeting.
Council Member Gene Knutzen says the city went from 1994 to 2007 without any increases in utility rates, but a decline in new homes and water consumption has led to a drop in the revenue needed to run the utilities.
Bellingham resident Patrick Mckee told the council that many middle-income homeowners would be hit hard by the increases.
He says that by 2016, homeowners on a fixed rate like him will pay a bi-monthly total of $208 for city utilities.
Council member's Michael Lilliquist and Stan Snapp voted against the increase in storm water rates because of a lack of storm water planning for Lake Whatcom.