There seems to be a lot of confusion about the sewer rate increase. Our wastewater treatment plant reached its design capacity in 1995. It had to be upgraded and expanded. If the city had not upgraded our plant, Enumclaw would have faced continual fines from the state Department of Ecology until it was done.
Councilman Elfers has implied that the construction contractor bid $16 million for the job and the city mismanaged the work which ran up the costs. That is not true. Actually, early in the process, a consultant did estimate the expansion would cost between $16 million and $17 million but the Department of Ecology added permitting requirements (such as wetland mitigation) that substantially added to the cost and time to build. Moreover, the cost of materials went way up due to shortages from the reconstruction after Katrina.
In the end, the wastewater treatment expansion came in under budget. We should be thanking our mayor city and administrators for taking on this project and for keeping it on schedule and on budget.