SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane City Council voted Monday night to approve a plan to increase city utility rates over the next three years.

Water, sewer and garbage will go up by 2.9 percent each year through 2020.

The new rates will increase a typical customer’s bill by $3.40 each month; right now, a typical bill is about $120.

The price hike will that effect on Jan. 1.

City leaders said they had to increase the rates to help cover the costs of pipes and tanks needed to keep sewage out of the Spokane River.

The City Council is working on a discount or bill credit for some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens – those who are low income or disabled.

They decided to postpone the vote on that discount to next month.