But, they did approve two separate 9 percent increases instead. That will mean about a $5 a month hike for most users.
The first hike takes affect on Friday. The second hits in December and coincides with the start of tiered water rates.
Those who were pushing for the increase point out that water in Raleigh is still cheap. Customers pay about $2 for every 750 gallons used. The City says that's not bad when you consider that's a little more than you would pay for one bottle of water in a vending machine.
The City says it needs to charge more for water, claiming conservation efforts cut too deeply into its revenue.
Raleigh implemented watering restrictions during the 2007 drought and now customers are using less water.
The utilities department is facing a budget shortfall and charging the customer more could be the answer.
Many feel raising rates sends the wrong message, and it's not the time to do so.