Next year, Columbus residents will pay $5 more on average for their water and sewer service.
But Assistant Columbus Utilities Director Joe Lombardi says water and sewer rates will increase by a lower percentage than the rate hikes approved for this year.
Last year bills rose almost five percent, and they've increased in each of the last several years to fund system upgrades and comply with consent decrees over sewage overflows.
Lombardi says the 20 percent discount program is available for low-income residents who meet state and federal assistance guidelines. He says people age 60 and over are also eligible for a 20 percent discount. About 5,600 homes are taking advantage of the program this year. City Council is expected to approve the rate increases at tonight's meeting.