GULFPORT -- The Gulfport City Council voted Tuesday to hold off on making a decision to increase water and sewer rates throughout the city.
In a 5-2 vote, the council chose to authorize the administration to go out for bids and bond counsel instead of voting for or against the hike.
Gulfport's Ward 6 Councilman R.Lee Flowers said the postponement will allow the city time to do some paperwork to show citizens what exactly the money from the increase will go toward.
"We want to assure our constituents that we aren't going up on rates just to go up on rates," Flowers said. "We're trying to do this for some much needed system improvements; we're trying to get ahead of the normal wear and tear and depreciation of the system."
The city has to have the funding before it can move forward in the bond selling process, and in the coming month they'll be working to put together information letting citizens know what projects the money will pay for.
"We've got some paperwork to do," Flowers said. "We want to be able to show people that this will pay for that."
A list of projects the money would cover includes expanding systems to people waiting for service and other new equipment.
"But right now the only thing we're doing is keeping our system patched and operating," Flowers said. "We're waiting for something to break and repair it because we don't have enough money to get ahead of the breakages."