You will see some utility rate increases on your utility billings and we wanted to provide
some additional information on these changes.Water & SewerWater rates increased approximately 5.9% and sewer rates approximately 8.2%. Water and sewer rate adjustments are based on a utility rate study and the annual CPI adjustment.
2019 Water & Sewer Rate Sheet
The City of Kennewick completed a Council authorized water-sewer rate study in 2016 with the City's selected consultant FCS Group. The primary purpose of the study was to determine whether the utility's current rate structure will provide funding to adequately meet the utility's financial obligations and capital improvements required to maintain the current system and meet additional needs required to serve new growth. The General Sewer Comprehensive Plan, Wastewater Treatment Plant Facility Plan, both approved and adopted by the City Council in 2015, along with the Water Comprehensive Plan in 2016, were used to assist in the development of the rate study. The current rate study is a multi-year financial plan that will provide revenue requirements to meet the following obligations. Operating Expenses, Debt Service, Capital Expenditures, and Fiscal Policy Achievement. The rate study evaluated the sufficiency of the current rates on a standalone basis and developed a rate implementation strategy. Council adopted this strategy for the 2017/2018 biennial budget and again for the 2019/2020 budget with a 3.15% increase for water in both 2019 and 2020 and a 5.4% increase for sewer each year. Additionally the rates (including the adopted increases) are indexed by the consumer price indexing. For 2019 that was a 2.7% increase.Council packet with rate study & ordinances
The residential/commercial bi-monthly rate is now $21.44. In addition to a $1.25 per month increase, the ambulance utility rates were are also adjusted by the annual CPI. The 2019 vacancy factor for multi-family and multi-unit commercial will be 98.9%. The bi-monthly rate for multi-unit accounts (apartments) will be $21.20 per unit.
The ambulance utility supports the emergency
and non-emergency medical transport services availability and the increase in
the bi-monthly fee will also generate funding to support additional staffing
for future Fire Station #6.
The bi-monthly residential stormwater rate is now $10.82 and the multi-family rate is $6.84 per unit. Commercial rates vary based on parking spaces. 2019 stormwater rates were set in 2017 via resolution 17-28.The Stormwater Utility is needed to provide a revenue source for the stormwater program that is now required by the State of Washington Department of Ecology Eastern Washington, Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit that is now mandatory to comply with regulations that place the City of Kennewick under mandatory stormwater program requirements. The adjustment was necessary to fully enterprise the stormwater utility and eliminates the need for an ongoing General Fund contribution towards its operating costs.