Second Round of Water, Sewer Rate Hikes Approved
Rates for both city services to increase by 9 percent in 2013; 5 percent hike in solid-waste fees passes
Starting next month Kent residents will see a jump in their water, sewer and solid waste rates as part of a series of rate hikes initially approved by Kent City Council in 2011.
Council members voted in November to approve the second round of several increases to billing rates for all three services.
Starting in January, water and sewer rates for 2013 will increase 9 percent from their existing rate. Solid waste rates will rise 5 percent.
For water, sewer and stormwater, the average household will see its bill increase by about $6 per month in 2013 compared with this year.
Council voted unanimously, with its newest member Scott Flynn abstaining, to approve the rate increases without comment Wednesday.
The rate increases were born in part out of a study the city conducted to determine the costs associated with operating and maintaining the city's water and sewer plants and their associated equipment, which includes 76 miles of water and 64 miles of sewer pipes running beneath the city.
Those studies determined that in the next 20 years the city will have to pay close to $211 million to operate its water and sewer utilities. That cost includes operations, such as employee costs and materials, and replacing equipment that is expected to wear out.
Rates are expected to increase by at least 8.5 percent annually for water and sewer through 2015. Rates will level off in 2016, but they will still increase annually by 3 percent through 2017 and beyond.