THE BRONX - Some Bronx homeowners are steamed over the city's plan to raise water rates 11.5 percent.

The New York City Water Board wants the increase to go into effect July 1. If the City Council approves the plan, the average water bill for a single-family home would increase about $72. The proposal comes after reports of customers racking up millions of dollars in unpaid water bills.Some City Council members argue the board should first try to collect outstanding balances before punishing all customers. However, water officials say other factors, such as maintenance costs, played a role in the decision.

Customers will have several opportunities to voice their opinions about the plan. A public meeting was held at Herbert H. Lehman College Wednesday morning.

Related information:New York City Department of Environmental Protection