St. Petersburg residents will have to wait until next week to learn if it they will be paying more in property taxes after a final vote on the 2014 millage rate and budget.
However, one thing St. Pete will definitely be paying more for in 2014 is utility rates.
Thursday, during the second/final public hearing on utility rates, city council voted 7-1 to increase the utility rates throughout St. Petersburg.
Council member Wengay Newton voted against the rates.
The reclaimed water, wastewater and water increases are proposed at 3.75 percent for all three services, according to city documents. No increases are proposed for sanitation services or storm water.
Mayor Bill Foster said the average monthly increase homeowners will see on their bill would be $1.94. Customers using reclaimed water will see an additional $.68 on their bill.
According to public works administrator Mike Connors, the increase in rates are due to a number of factors including rising costs to take care of infrastructure issues in St. Pete that were long-neglected, salary increases and chemicals for odor control initiatives.
Approved rates were lower than what was expected at this time last year.
"Last year at this time, we anticipated a 4.25 percent overall increase in FY14 for water, wastewater and reclaimed water," Foster wrote in a memo to council. "However, based on revenue sufficiency analysis, the rate study recommends an overall increase of 3.75 percent for FY14.
"The primary factors allowing for a zero percent increase in the sanitation fees include operational efficiencies and reduced tonnage being taken to the county waste disposal site," Foster wrote.