KALAMAOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Water and sewer customers in the city of Kalamazoo will be seeing a higher bill soon.

City commissioners unanimously approved a 20% raise on water and wastewater rates at their meeting Monday night. The city’s public works department explained the raise is necessary to cover rising costs driven by inflation and supply chain issues. Those costs range from phosphate treatment chemicals to sludge-hauling and disposal contracts.

The rate changes will also help fund specific projects, including future lead line replacement for the Northside and Edison neighborhoods.

Before the vote, residents said they were not pleased with the idea.

“If any of us experienced a 20% hike on any of our other bills, any of them, we would look for alternatives. There’s not a thing we would stick with for a 20% hike. But yet water we have to have,” one Kalamazoo resident said.

“We’re in this together. It’s our system. We are committed to providing assistance as necessary. And this is an investment in us and in our children and grandchildren,” said Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson said.

The city will be offering help to customers who need it. Information can be found at kalamazoocity.org.