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      City approves water, sewer rate hike

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Columbia City Council met Wednesday morning to discuss a proposed water and sewer rate increase.

      In a four to one vote, the council approved the two percent increase that would fund upgrades and rising costs on their end.

      Councilman Daniel Rickenmann voted against the rate hike. Kirkman Finlay was absent.

      City Manager Steve Gantt says the money from the hike will help residents and the need for water over time.

      "Most of the folks in the city of Columbia, we're not able to get water from Lake Murray to the downtown area in the quantities that we need, so that's our long range plan," Gantt explains.

      If the proposal passes a second vote, the increase would go into effect July 1.

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