The mayor of East Point, Ga., is suing her city over a water and sewer utility rate increase that will cost most households an average $47 more per month.

Mayor Earnestine Pittman told MyFoxAtlanta that she is trying to help residents who can't afford a major rate increase. 

"I stand with the people when the city errs, and in this instance they have made a great error," she said.

East Point's city council members say the hike is the first in many years and is needed to pay for refinancing water and sewer bonds and for maintenance. 

"These policies are well-reasoned, constitutional and accurately capture the cost of providing essential services in the city of East Point during this difficult economy that has affected our citizens and businesses as well as our city government," the council members said in a statement.

A spokesman for the city manager's office named in the suit say they will fight the claims in court, not in the media.

The suit comes just days before three of the city's council members face reelection in a vote taking place Tuesday. 

Pittman, who is joined by residents in the class-action suit, says donations paid for the cost of the legal filing, not city funds.