Wastewater/Sewer Rate Increases Proposed
At their September 7th, 2021, Regular Meeting, Jefferson County PUD’s Board of Commissioners are scheduled to vote on a staff proposal that will see rate increases for wastewater/sewer service broken out between three systems and phased in over five years. The meeting begins at 5pm and will be held remotely via Zoom.
According to PUD General Manager Kevin Streett, the PUD recently commissioned a cost-of-service study for the wastewater/sewer utility that included a review of the current rates, necessary capital improvements, and the cost to maintain and run the wastewater utility. Streett said that the water division of the PUD has been subsidizing the wastewater/sewer services for several years and the study provided several options on new rates that will eventually align rates with costs.
On August 17th, PUD Engineering Director Samantha Harper presented the commissioners with multiple options for increasing rates. Harper said she based the proposal on previous discussions, with separate rates for Kala Point and Beckett Point system customers, and options to phase in the rate increases from 1 year to 10 years. Most PUD wastewater/sewer customers currently pay $30.80 per month, with the exception of a limited number of customers in Kala Point who pay $20 per month, said Harper.
In discussion during their regular meeting on August 17th, Commissioners Randall and Collins indicated a preference for a 5-year phase-in that would see 2021 rates rise to $25.60 for PUD sewer customers in Kala Point, $47.41 for Beckett Point, and $41.20 per month for all other systems. Rates would increase annually until 2025 in 5-year scenario, with most customers paying $82.78 per month after the last increase, while Beckett Point customers would pay $115.36 per month and Kala Point at $47.98 per month.
Harper and Streett said they intend to ask the commissioners for a vote on the 5-year phased-in wastewater/sewer rate increase plan during the September 7th meeting. Instructions for joining the meeting online are available on the PUD’s website: jeffpud.org. A public comment period is available at the start of the meeting, and additional public comment is allowed on individual agenda items, said Streett.