16 May
16May

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING WATER & SEWER UTILITY RATES

The Town of Cathlamet provides water and wastewater utility services. Rates must generate enough revenue to cover annual costs of operations, maintenance, repairs, debt, and all other costs related to the collection, treatment and/or distribution of each utility, including future replacement costs of system infrastructures.

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With the assistance of Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), the Town conducted a wastewater rate study to develop recommendations for rate adjustments for the purpose of finding a way to make utility rates more equitable, encourage development, and eliminate billing differences between in-town and out-of-town customers. RCAC began work on this study in April 2021, and after months of collecting data and adjusting calculations based on feedback from the Town Council, RCAC presented the final rate study in December. Having thoroughly reviewed the data and made final adjustments, the Council has now approved preliminary utility rates, which are outlined in this letter.

Charges for water and sewer contain both a fixed rate and an excess usage rate based on consumption. As part of this proposal, water service rates will increase by 5% for in-town customers and decrease by 4.25% for out-of-town customers in order to gradually eliminate the difference between rates for in-town and out-of-town rate users. Sewer rates for all customers, regardless of whether they are located in or outside of town-limit, will consist of a flat monthly base rate and a usage charge based on actual water usage during the prior winter quarter (December to February), known as your “winter-average". Winter averaging determines the fixed sewer rate that will be applied to each individual customer for the next year, protecting customers from paying more for warm weather activities such as watering lawns, washing cars, landscaping, and filling pools.

A final decision will not be made by the Town Council until after considering public comments received at the rate hearing on May 2nd and 16th 2022, and subsequently adopting an ordinance amending current utility rates. If you intend to comment, it is important that you do so in connection with these hearings as the new rates, if approved by the Council, are otherwise scheduled to be implemented on the first billing statements following July 1, 2022.

Whether in favor or opposed, the Council wants to hear your thoughts and questions. Comments should be submitted in writing in advance of the meeting or presented at the regular meeting to be included as part of the formal record. Those who wish to submit a written comment should do so at Town Hall, 375 2nd Street, Cathlamet, WA 98612 or via email to sarahc@townofcathlamet.com. Participants attending the meeting in person or via Zoom are also encouraged to contact Town Hall ahead of the meeting to sign up for public comment, as speakers will be allowed in the order in which they sign up. Meeting details are provided below:

     DATE: Monday, May 2, 2022 & Monday, May 16, 2022

     TIME: Starting at 6:00 p.m.

     LOCATION: DeBriae Meeting Room, Cathlamet Fire Hall, 255 2nd            Street, Cathlamet, WA

     ZOOM: Meeting ID 789 428 989, Password 418718

     CALL-IN: 971.247.1195