CLEARWATER -- Clearwater and Clear Lake residents should be getting a break on their utility bills.

The Legislature approved $300,000 in bond funding to help upgrade the Clearwater and Clear Lake Wastewater Treatment Facility. Clearwater Mayor Pete Edmonson says both cities have been working with lawmakers for four years on the best way to solve their high sewer and water costs.

After years of going back and forth both cities decided that upgrading their current facility to include a rapid infiltration basin (RIB) and geotubes will help lower that cost.

The RIB will reduce the cost of treating the wastewater and the geotubes will help store solid waste on site rather than paying to discard it right away.

Edmonson says the entire project will cost $500,000.

"We're hoping to bid out the projects and have both the geotubes and the rapid infiltration basin as a part of that $500,000. So the state would be kicking in $300,000 and the Sewer Authority $200,000."

Right now Edmonson says Clearwater and Clear Lake residents do have higher water and sewer bills than surrounding towns, he says with these upgrades the costs should go down.

"There's a technology available now [RIB and geotubes] that wasn't available in the mid-2000s when we had to build the plant. So we're able to save money on the expenses and then save money on capital expenses down the road."

Construction on the project is expected to begin next Spring, with work wrapping up next Summer.

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