The Washougal City Council reviewed the results of the utility rate study for the period 2024-2028 for the city’s water, sewer, and stormwater utilities at a recent city council workshop. The presentation by the city’s consultant, the FCS Group, included a review of the rate study process and the recommendations for utility rates for 2024-2028.
The proposal is a rate increase of 2.9% annually for the next 5 years and would amount to a total bi-monthly bill increase of about $8.08 for the average single-family customer ($4.04 monthly). Under the proposal, rate increases for multi-family customers will be slightly smaller while high-volume residential customers and commercial customers will see a larger increase.
The city arrived at this proposal after a year-long study that included working closely with a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) made up of Washougal ratepayers. The CAC met six times, and during that time was brought up to speed on utility operations, reviewed utility financials, and evaluated rate options. After careful analysis of the options, the CAC advised for the 2.9% increase because it struck a balance that works financially and that is not overly burdensome for ratepayers.
“The CAC is well aware that rate increases are not popular. We felt we found a middle ground that understands the issues of our Washougal community but also allows us to plan for our future and the growth that is needed,” said CAC member and Washougal resident Brian Johnson.
Before the City Council considers adopting the rate increase in January 2024, the city is holding a public open house to share the rate study results and get public feedback.
- Location: Washougal Community Center, 1681 C Street, Washougal
- Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2023
- Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The City of Washougal Public Works Department operates and maintains water, sewer, and stormwater utilities, serving multiple commercial and industrial accounts and over 17,000 residents. Combined, the three utilities annually provide 603,243,000 gallons of drinking water, treat 448,825,000 gallons of wastewater, and maintain 38 miles of stormwater pipes and 10 miles of drainage ditches.
The safe and reliable delivery of utility services is vital to customer health and the wellbeing of our community. Utility systems are extremely complex and require a substantial financial investment to operate and maintain, and capital improvement projects needed to meet Clean Water Act requirements must also be funded. Establishing appropriate rates to support the operations of each utility is critically important to ensure the reliability and safety of these services to the community.
More information about the Utility Rate Study, including the CAC’s meeting presentations and recommendations and FAQs, can be found on the Utility Rate Study website at https://cityofwashougal.us/UtilityRateStudy
Public Works Director