WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Cape Fear Public Utility Authority customers can expect to see a hike in their water bill in the weeks to come.
They voted today raise water rates 13.1 percent.
"It's a needed 13.1 percent increase in revenue," said Carey Disney Ricks, CFPUA's Public Information Officer. "The tiered rate structure remains the same, but the thresholds for tiers have changed."
CFPUA is trying to meet its financial obligations and needed to increase revenue this year so it could pay a $6 million bond debt. The bond was issued in 2008 to help update infrastructure.
Stephen Day, a manager at The Pilot House in downtown Wilmington, says restaurants will be hit especially hard by the rate increase.
"We use tons of water," Day said. "We're thawing seafood, cleaning and constantly running the dish washer."
Day says raising the menu prices would be the easiest way to offset the increased water rates, but says that would be the last thing the restaurant would do.
"Coming out of the recession, we're doing everything we can to promote business right now and raising prices isn't going to promote any kind of business," Day said. "It's just something we'll have to deal with and maybe we'll have to cut costs in other ways."
This is another in a series of rate increase for water users by the CFPUA, who raised them twice in 2010. You'll see the increase starting in May.