NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton residents will be paying a little more for water and sewer services.

The City Council approved a rate increase, after the Coca-Cola bottling plant, which is the city’s main source of revenue, announced it will close. Northampton City Council made this decision in a meeting last Thursday, April 13th.

City Councilor Stanley Moulton told 22News, rates must go up to keep up with the facility closing in December. Water rates will go from $15 to $47, while sewage rates will jump to as much as $28 dollars more. That means residents could pay more than $70 each quarter. Low-income households and seniors will receive exemptions. Moulton says it has been three years since the city increased its rates.

“There were questions about whether some action might have been taken earlier to forestall this larger rate increase, but this is money used for capital expenses that are required, no matter whether Coke is consuming water or not,” Moulton explained. “The city has to produce revenue.”

The revenue gained from the increased rates will help pay for a $16 million upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant. The rate changes won’t take effect until July 1, 2024.