The Northport City Council unanimously voted to raise the fees it charges for water, sewer and garbage service, which will increase utility bills for all customers beginning in January.

As the Thread reported last earlier this month, the resolutions passed Monday will not raise the per-gallon rate the city charges to provide water and treat wastewater, but instead OKs a flat $1.50 monthly increase to the administrative fees applied to water and sewer bills.

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The five-member council also voted to hike the price of residential garbage service by $4.50 per cart, per month, so residential customers will pay $16.60 each month for every garbage cart they require. Commercial customers using larger bins will see their monthly garbage rate climb to $27.12 per cart, per month.

The water and sewer fees will increase again by the same amount in 2024, and the garbage rates will be reviewed annually and increased as necessary.

Council President Jeff Hogg said the rate increases were recommended by outside consultants who said the city would need to drive up prices to maintain and sustain the city's existing infrastructure.

All five members of the Northport City Council voted in favor of the increases during their meeting Monday night with the vocal support of mayor Bobby Herndon, who provided disaster relief to Jackson, Mississippi last week amid their ongoing water crisis.

"I appreciate this council taking this action, I was in a city last week delivering water that had not been proactive in keeping up their water systems and they were having a lot of trouble," Herndon said. "So thank you guys for taking these necessary steps."

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