King County increases 2013 sewer rate

June 19, 2012

King County Council members hiked the sewer rate for 2013 to $39.79 a month per residential customer.

The rate increase approved by the council June 11 is less than the $39.85 rate King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed in April. Officials intend to keep the same rate in 2014.

The county charges the rate to 34 cities and sewer districts, including Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, to carry and treat wastewater. The amount ratepayers see on bills depends on local sewer utilities. Jurisdictions set rates independently, but typically pass along such costs to customers.

Officials focused on reduced operating costs in announcing the rate increase. Read more

King County Council increases 2013 sewer rate

June 11, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. June 11, 2012

King County Council members hiked the sewer rate for 2013 to $39.79 a month per residential customer.

The rate increase approved by the council Monday is less than the $39.85 rate King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed in April. Officials intend to keep the same rate in 2014.

The county charges the rate to 34 cities and sewer districts, including Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, to carry and treat wastewater. The amount ratepayers see on bills depends on local sewer utilities. Jurisdictions set rates independently, but typically pass along such costs to customers.

Officials focused on reduced operating costs in announcing the rate increase.

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King County proposes 10 percent sewer rate hike

April 24, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a 10 percent increase in regional sewer rates for 2013-14, or about $4 more per month for the average residential customer.

The county charges the rate to 34 cities and sewer districts, including Issaquah, to carry and treat wastewater. So, Issaquah and other contracted entities pass on the increased cost to consumers.

The proposed increase requires approval from the King County Council.

Contractual obligations require the council to adopt the 2013-14 sewer rate by June 30. Constantine sent the proposal to council members April 19.

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School lets a learning opportunity go to waste

March 27, 2012

Brightwater plant gleams, but smell gets attention of Clark Elementary science students

Clark Elementary School students react to the smells in one of the large treatment rooms during a tour of the Brightwater wastewater treatment plant in Woodinville March 22. By Tom Corrigan

Tour guide and instructor Lansia Gipson probably wisely wanted her young audience to get the giggles and sputters out of their systems.

After visiting their classroom, Gipson led about 20 or so Clark Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders on a March 22 tour of the Brightwater sewage treatment plant in Woodinville. She wasn’t shy regarding what the plant removes from waste water gathered from northern King and southern Snohomish counties.

“We’re going to say the word ‘poop’ a lot today,” Gipson told the students prior to the tour, inviting them to look at their neighbors and say “poop.”

After some giggling, the students settled down surprisingly quickly.

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King County executive highlights accomplishments at term’s halfway point

December 27, 2011

Dow Constantine

County Executive Dow Constantine reached the midpoint in a four-year term as King County’s leader Dec. 21.

In the days before the milestone, Constantine highlighted accomplishments in the job thus far — including efforts to rein in spending through negotiations between the county and labor groups, reducing employee health care costs and adopting a performance-based management program modeled on a system at Toyota.

“The common theme of many of our accomplishments is partnership — finding a way for people to work together who maybe didn’t work so well together before,” he said in a statement released Dec. 19.

Constantine entered office in late November 2009 and outlined a bold plan to remake county government.

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King County executive highlights accomplishments at term’s halfway point

December 20, 2011

NEW — 3:45 p.m. Dec. 20, 2011

County Executive Dow Constantine is due to reach the midpoint in a four-year term as King County’s leader Wednesday.

Dow Constantine

In the days before the milestone, Constantine highlighted accomplishments in the job thus far — including efforts to rein in spending through negotiations between the county and labor groups, reducing employee health care costs and adopting a performance-based management program modeled on a program at Toyota.

“The common theme of many of our accomplishments is partnership — finding a way for people to work together who maybe didn’t work so well together before,” he said in a statement released Monday.

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County projects $70 million in savings due to low interest rates

August 23, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 23, 2011

King County is projected to save more then $70 million in the decades ahead, or about $3 million per year, after refinancing sewer revenue bonds Monday.

The county Wastewater Treatment Division issued $494 million worth of sewer revenue bonds at a rate of 3.79 percent. The savings to county taxpayers is projected at more than $70 million through 2034.

“King County’s strong credit rating means we can sell bonds at low interest rates and keep our costs down,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “I am pleased that, even in a time of economic uncertainty, our track record of strong financial management allows us to issue bonds at a rate that will save tens of millions of dollars as we invest in our region.”

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County Council decides against sewer rate hike

June 21, 2011

King County leaders decided against increasing sewer rates for 2012 in a unanimous decision June 13.

The rate remains stable at $36.10 per month for most residential customers. The county provides wastewater treatment to 17 cities, including Issaquah, and 17 local sewer utilities.

Officials use the funds raised through sewer rates for maintaining and operating the regional wastewater system in King County, South Snohomish County and a slice of Pierce County.

The actual amount ratepayers see on bills depends on local sewer utilities. The sewer rate is charged to Issaquah because King County conveys wastewater from city customers to the South Treatment Plant in Renton.

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King County Council decides against sewer rate hike

June 13, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. June 13, 2011

King County leaders decided against increasing sewer rates for 2012 in a unanimous decision Monday.

The rate remains stable at $36.10 per month for most residential customers. The county provides wastewater treatment to 17 cities, including Issaquah, and 17 local sewer utilities.

Officials use the funds raised through sewer rates for maintaining and operating the regional wastewater system in King County, South Snohomish County and a sliver of Pierce County.

The amount ratepayers see on bills depends local sewer utilities. The sewer rate is charged to Issaquah and 33 other cities, because King County conveys wastewater to the South Treatment Plant in Renton.

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Executive recommends against sewer rate hike

May 3, 2011

King County Executive Dow Constantine called for keeping monthly sewer rates stable for 2012 under a proposal sent to the County Council.

The executive called for customers served by the county’s clean-water utility to continue to pay the current wholesale rate of $36.10 per month. The rate covers the cost to collect and treat wastewater from 34 local sewer utilities, including Issaquah.

Issaquah collects wastewater from more than 4,800 residences and businesses. The city does not operate a treatment plant. Instead, the city pays the county to send wastewater to the South Treatment Plant in Renton.

The county adopted the existing sewer rate last year in order to pay the long-term bonds used to finance Brightwater, a $1.8 billion treatment plant under construction near Woodinville.

Under Constantine’s proposal, the capacity charge for new sewer hookups is due to increase by 3 percent as planned, from $50.45 per month in 2011 to $51.95 per month next year. The capacity charge on new customers provides funding for system upgrades and expansions needed to accommodate growth.

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