PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City residents were pleased to hear the news of unchanged millage rates in the upcoming 2023 year, but that may not be the case when it comes to city utilities.

In order to keep Panama City rebuilding at the same pace city commissioners discussed potential increases in water and sewer and solid waste rates.

“It’s no secret that Panama City has had a lot of issues in water and sewer areas and so as a result, it takes money in order to fix projects, we do have alot of money that’s coming from grants alot of money that’s coming from SFR funds, loans, and things like that but we’ve got to be able to pay those things. So what we were presented today, was an increase to water and sewer rates, there are no decisions that were made today obviously it’s not something that we’d like to do lightly,” said City Commissioner Josh Street.

Consultants presented the city with two 5-year scenarios for rate increases on both water and garbage.

For water and sewer, households using an average of 1,000 gallons per bill can expect either an initial rise of 7.5% on 2023, which would then increase to a 9.5% rate for the next 2-5 years.

Or they could see a steady 9% increase through the next 5 years.

For garbage, the choice of a steady 6.5% increase over the next 5 years, or an initial 3% and then 8% increase was presented.

Commissioners want to make sure their decision is not a drastic one.

Street added, “We’re trying to find a way that we can balance, so our goal is trying to keep things as minimal as possible on any kind of increases, and hopefully none at all.”

The city commission will vote on the proposed rate increases on September 12th.