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Petersburg City Council approves water hike bill, effective immediately

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PETERSBURG, Va. – Petersburg City Council voted to implement a 14.3% utility bill increase at Tuesday night’s meeting. The new rate will go into effect immediately.

The water hike bill will affect all Petersburg residents who pay utility bills to the city.

City leaders said the increase is necessary to help pay for repairs to the city’s water system, upgrade of meters and help with city debt.

Earlier this year, Petersburg Interim City Manager Tom Tyrrell said the lack of a maintenance program over several decades has led to serious problems and created expensive repairs.

He said the city needed millions to fix the neglected water system.

"Rates are going to increase because there's no alternative really,” he said in February.

The 14.3 percent hike is effective immediately, through January 28, 2018.

At Tuesday meeting, City Council will also voted to approve a new city budget.

Stay with CBS 6 for the latest on this developing story.