Proposed Port Angeles utility rate hikes face public comment Tuesday
By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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The proposed increases could raise the average residential monthly bill either $14.77 or $17, depending upon the frequency of garbage collection.
The public hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. or soon afterward when the City Council meets at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St.
The second hearing and a vote to adopt the rate changes is slated for the council’s Nov. 5 meeting.
The new utility rates, if approved, would go into effect Jan. 1.
The city’s Utility Advisory Committee, with two members absent, recommended the proposed increases 4-0 at their Tuesday afternoon meeting.
The increases were presented after a months-long utility-cost-of-service study was completed by FCS Group, a Redmond-based consulting firm under contract with the city.
Under the proposed rate increases, the total utility bill of an average city residential customer would increase about 6.3 percent per month for residents getting every-other-week garbage and yard waste pickup, and 6.6 percent for those getting weekly service.
This means the bill of an average resident getting every-other-week garbage service would go from $235.29 per month to $250.06, with weekly garbage pickup service going from $258.85 to $275.93.
This translates to the average resident paying either $177.24 or $204.96 more per year.
An average residential ratepayer uses 1,500 kilowatt hours of electricity, 450 cubic feet of water and more than 430 cubic feet of wastewater per month.
The rate increases have been proposed mainly to counter increases in the electric rates the city pays to the Bonneville Power Administration and to fund utility infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, FCS Group consultants have said.
On average, electricity rates are proposed to rise about $7 per month, an increase of roughly 6.5 percent.
Wastewater rates for those using more than 430 cubic feet of water per month would increase by about $4.50, or about 6.7 percent, and by about 6.5 percent for residents using less than 430 cubic feet of water per month.
Weekly garbage pickup service would increase $2.09 per month from $30.65 to $32.74, an increase of about 6.8 percent.
Every-other-week garbage service could go from $19.75 to $20.35 per month, an increase of about 3 percent.
Under the proposed rates, residents using about 450 cubic feet of water per month would see a $1.99 increase, or about 5.5 percent.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: October 13. 2013 6:33PM