Bonney Lake biennial budget passes

Sewer and water rates increase

With the 2017-2018 biennial budget passed and new sewer and water rates approved, the Bonney Lake City Council adjourned for the rest of the year.

According to the agenda bill, there were only a few changes made to the budget over the course of public hearings.

An extra $142,000 in revenue was budgeted for the Watershed and Land Use Plan. This money was planned to be used in 2016, but work was not completed, so the money was budgeted to roll over to this year.

Also, there is an increase of waste water spending to the tune of $359,000, due to Sumner’s water treatment plant, which treats Bonney Lake’s sewer water, hiring three more operators by the end of 2018.

What was not put into the budget was a $15,000 increase of spending out of the city’s Park Capital Improvement Plan fund for a new entrance to Victor Falls Park. This project is required by Pierce County.

Along with the budget, the council also set higher sewer and water rates for the new year.

Sewer rates will increase by 5 percent come January.

The increase bumps the per-month availability charge from $54.09 to $57.88, meaning residents can expect to pay an extra $45.48 this year at least.

The volumetric charge also rises, from $3.36 to $3.60 per 100 cubic feet (or 1 CFF) of water consumed every month. This means residents will pay around $2.88 extra per year for using 100 cubic feet of water per month.

The availability charge is slightly different for those who use a city-owned grinder pump.

For these folks, the charge rises from $64.90 to $69.44, an annual increase of $54.48.

Water rates are being rolled back to what they were in 2008, which are higher than they were this year.

Water rates aren’t as simple as the sewer rates, and depend on the size of a resident’s water meter and what time of year water is being consumed.

In-city meters between 5/8 inches and 3/4 inches will now be charged $16.69, a $2.69 increase over this year (a $32.38 annual increase).

The same increase goes for those with one inch meters with a fire sprinkler system.

In-city water consumption rates during the winter will not change, but during the summer, residents and businesses that use more than 10 CCFs (1,000 cubic feet or 7480 gallons) of water will be charged $3.92 per CCF, a $1.42 increase from this year.

The city has also eliminated the monthly charges for using 11-20 CCFs, 21-30 CCFs and 31-plus CCFs of water.

Winter rates for those outside the city limits haven’t changed, but summer rates rise from $3.50 to $5.69 for using more than 10 CCFs of water.

The monthly charges for using 11-20 CCFs, the 21-30 CCFs and 31-plus CCFs of water for out-of-city residents have also been eliminated.

Even through these rate changes were enacted last week, residents won’t see their bills increasing for at least a month, said City Administrator Don Morrison.

In-city residents will see the new water rates affect their bills come February, but the consumption portion of the increase will only affect their bill in April, said Morrison.

Bills for out of city residents will be affected in April, because they are billed every two months.

Sewer bills will see the jump come March.

Both the sewer and water rates will be revisited by the council after a rate study by Financial Consulting Services Group is completed. The study is anticipated to be finished in March.

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