CALLAWAY, Fla. (WMBB) — Utility rates are going up for Callaway residents and business owners according to a public notice that came out Thursday.

Callaway commissioners voted to raise water, sewer, and garbage rates. About 7,000 Callaway utility customers will be paying more beginning October 1st.

The city is raising rates because Bay County is raising the rates it charges the city.

“We run a lean budget already with not a lot of excess money in it. If they’re going to raise their rates, we will have to raise our rates to match theirs so that we can continue to do business for the residents of our city,” said Callaway City Manager Ed Cook.

Bay County provides water and sewer to most of the local cities and charges them for the services.

Callaway is passing along the county’s increase to their city customers. Water rates will increase by 3%, and sewer treatment rates will increase by 8%. Those two combined will cost customers an extra 33 cents for every 1000 gallons used.

Cook says Callaway customers average about 4,000 gallons per month.

“We have established our base rates to have service within the city. Those base rates are not changing. This is only on consumption and usage of water,” said Cook.

Solid waste fees will increase from $9.97 to $13 a month.

“I mean, we take what we need. We use whatever we have. We use that for the betterment of the system,” said Cook.

Cook assures Callaway customers that the rate hikes were necessary to keep the system running.   

“Everyone in the city has the option to have water and sewer and we want to make sure we provide that for them. This is just what it’s going to cost to do business within the city of Callaway,” said Cook.

When the city increased utility rates last year, water went up by 3% and sewage treatment went up by 4%.