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11/7/2012 12:34:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
2013 water and wastewater rates to increase
Kacie Thrift
Staff Writer

Starting in 2013, water rates will increase by 2.5 percent and wastewater rates will increase by 6 percent each year for the next five years.

At the last City Council meeting a resolution was approved to increase water and wastewater rates in the county and city limits effective Jan. 1, 2013.

The approved resolution said each single-family dwelling shall be served through a separate meter. The family units in an existing non-conforming accessory dwelling or manufactured home park may be metered together or through an appropriately sized master meter.

Manufactured homes, regardless of placement are considered single-family dwellings. The city and county have different rates. For the city, in 2013 the monthly rate for a one inch meter will have a flat rate of $17.90. This amount can increase up to $33.64 (for a two inch meter) depending on meter size.

"Typically a two inch meter would be for a four-plex or bigger," said Bob Schmidt, Cashmere director of operations.

On top of the monthly rate for the meter size, a charge will be made per 1,000 gallons of water used. In 2013 zero to 10,000 gallons used will be charged $2.52 per 1,000 gallons, 10,001 to 35,000 gallons will be charged $2.79 per 1,000 gallons and over 35,000 gallons will be a $3.09 charge per 1,000 gallons.

Both the monthly rates for meter size and volume will increase 2.5 percent each year through 2017. There will be a low-income, senior, and disabled discount at 20 percent off the base rate.

Multi-family dwelling rates will be considered for dwellings of three or more units. The resolution says metering shall be done through one master meter when practical. Multi-family dwellings metered separately shall be charged according to single-family and duplex residential water rates.

For multi-family dwellings in the city, a meter size of one inch will be charged a monthly flat rate of $19.43. These rates can increase up to $218.54 for a six inch meter. Multi-family rates will have a single volume rate of $2.67 per 1,000 gallons.

For all county dwellings, rates for the monthly meter size and per 1,000 gallons used will have a 50 percent increase.

Commercial water rates will also increase 2.5 percent for five years starting in 2013. The rates are the same as multi-family dwellings.

The resolution says, "A capacity charge shall also be imposed on any commercial customer (or successor customer at the same service location) whose annual water consumption in the preceding calendar year is 50 percent or more below its highest annual usage in any of the 10 calendar years prior to that year or fewer number of prior years for new customers."

The capacity charge will be in addition to the meter and volume charges for current consumption.

"The folks that we had do our rate study, FCS Group out of Redmond, recommended we continue this increase. It's considered as a cost of living increase," said Schmidt.

Single-family dwellings and duplexes in the city will be paying $76.29 next year a month for wastewater. By 2017 single-family and duplex rates will increase to $96.31 per month. Rates for single-family and duplexes in the county will be charged 50 percent more than in the city. A 20 percent discount will be given to low-income, seniors, and the disabled.

Schmidt said the reason for the wastewater rates increase is to assist with funding for the new wastewater treatment facility.

"For the new plant we had to do a rate study late last year in anticipation for financing the new plant. We had to determine what it would be to repay the loan," Schmidt said.

Multi-family residential dwellings will be charged for wastewater depending on their water use. They have a flat monthly rate of $161.94 in 2013 and then charged $4.22 per 1,000 gallons over 11,000 gallons used. Multi-family dwellings rates in the county be 1.5 times the city multi-family residential rates.

For commercial enterprises in the county there will be a monthly rate of $76.29. An extra $4.70 per 1,000 gallons over 11,000 gallons used will be charged. Rates in the county will also be calculated at 1.5 times the city commercial rates.

Industrial rates, city and county, will also be increased. The resolution said usage shall be determined by a city-approved wastewater meter. User charge will be the minimum monthly charge ($179.85 for 2013) and will include up to 11,000 gallons. After 11,000 gallons a charge of $7.05 (for 2013) will be made per 1,000 gallons

All of these rates will increase by 6 percent each year through 2017.

The Cashmere City Council is also discussing an additional increase on utility tax for the year 2013. Schmidt said city staff is recommending a 4 percent increase but the council has not yet determined what the increase will be.

Kacie Thrift may be reached at 782-3781 or

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