Everett sewer rates on tap to keep rising

EVERETT — New sewer rates will go into effect July 1 next year as part of general passel of increases that are likely to continue through the next decade.

On Dec. 17 the Everett City Council passed two ordinances, the first of which sets sewer rates for 2015 and 2016, and the second of which is the city’s $320 million plan to revamp its aging sewer and stormwater system.

The combined sewer-stormwater system in the city’s north end led to major flooding in 2013. The city estimates it will pay out $4.5 million in settlements to homes and businesses affected by the floods.

The 10-year sewer plan calls for rates to continue to rise from 5.2 percent to 10.2 percent per year, with single family rates nearly doubling to an estimated $110 per month by 2024.

Those longer-term rates would need to be enacted as separate budgeting ordinances in coming years to take effect, however. The 10-year plan only identifies what rate increases would be needed to pay for the slate of upgrades to the city’s combined sewer and stormwater system.

In the near term, sewer rates for single-family houses will rise to $54.42 per month July 1, 2015, and then to $59.87 Jan. 1, 2016.

The surface water fee will likewise rise to $15.17 per month on July 1, 2015, and then to $17.44 per month Jan. 1, 2016.

The city is also installing water meters in neighborhoods that aren’t already metered, meaning that water service will no longer be billed at a flat rate.

The sewer rate ordinance also calls for increases to sewer and stormwater rates for multifamily, commercial and industrial buildings, based on volume.

The city will also move from a bimonthly billy cycle to a monthly cycle for utilities starting July 1.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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