Local group trying to put water rate increase to a public vote

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After the Rapid City Council approved a rate increase on water usage earlier this week, one local group is trying to stop that decision by putting it to a public vote.
South Dakota Citizens For Liberty are out collecting signatures, saying they are trying to give people a voice on how their water rates are set.

Tonchi Weaver, who is coordinating the petition drive, says public utilities should be subject to the rule of the law, rather than decided by the council.
The 43 percent rate increase over the course of five years is what Weaver is debating, saying that makes water rates unstable.
She says water is essential and this increase would affect how people care for their property.

Tonchi Weaver, who is coordinating the petition drive, says, "The city itself is unaccountable for the amount of water they use in their facilities. I would hate to see a day come where the only green lawns and flower gardens are on city property, because they don't have to account for the money we pay for, for the water, the use we pay for."

Rapid City Alderman Chad Lewis defends the increase by saying at Monday night's meeting that it's all part of responsible government and says the water rate hasn't gone up in five years.
2,000 valid signatures are needed to put the water rate increase on the ballot.
Weaver says they are hoping to get at least 2,500.