Has the city considered going to a monthly billing cycle?

The city is currently evaluating changing from a bi-monthly bill to a monthly billing cycle. The advantages of this change include giving customers more of a real-time view of their water usage and less of a lag between when their meter is read and when they receive a bill. For example, currently the July-August bill is received at the end of September and under a monthly cycle the July bill would be received at the end of August. 

Monthly bills also mean that each bill will be smaller (by roughly half), which makes bill payment more manageable. However, there are some costs associated with monthly billing, including more frequent meter reading, increased administrative costs for printing and mailing bills, as well as software and outreach costs. 

The Citizens Advisory Committee considered all of these issues and is suggesting that the Council conduct future outreach to the community to see if community members would support a minor increase in rates to fund the added costs of moving to monthly billing.

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1. I heard the city is conducting a rate study. What is being studied?
2. What is the city doing to inform and involve the public in the study?
3. How much of a rate increase should I expect?
4. What would happen if the city kept rates the same as they are now or lowered them? Why does the city need to raise rates?
5. The bill we receive for the three utilities can be confusing. What can be done to improve it?
6. What is a typical bill for Washougal ratepayers?
7. My bi-monthly bill seems high to me which makes me wonder about other cities. Why are rates in similar cities different and is the rumor true that our rates are some of the highest in the state?
8. I’m frustrated by the high rates. What is the city doing to keep our rates reasonable?
9. Has the city considered going to a monthly billing cycle?