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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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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City confronts slippery situation: grease-clogged pipes

May 17, 2011

Council creates regulations to limit damage to sewer system

In a maneuver more common to cardiologists than City Council members, the city enacted a step May 2 to unclog the pipes looping beneath streets, like arteries inside the human body.

The council approved a measure to create regulations for grease and other oily discharges from businesses. Supporters said cutting out the fat could lead to reduced maintenance costs from clogged and damaged pipes in the long term.

“It definitely is going to benefit the city,” Councilwoman Eileen Barber said before the unanimous decision. “As we all know, a lot of these fats and greases that go into our sewer actually create some kind of bacteria that eat our pipes. So, it is definitely beneficial for all of us, as citizens, to begin to save that.”

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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.

Executive Dow Constantine recommends against sewer rate hike

April 25, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 25, 2011

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

“In these difficult economic times, it makes sense to keep the rate flat,” he said in a statement. “This proposal will allow us to maintain critical infrastructure, support economic growth and promote environmental health without undue burden to ratepayers.”

Constantine 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.

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King County enacts sewer rate hike for 2011

December 28, 2010

The sewer rate for residential customers served by King County rises to $36.10 per month next year — a $4.20 monthly increase from the existing rate.

Customers should notice the increase on Jan. 31 or Feb. 28 utility bills.

The county charges the rate to 34 cities and sewer districts, including Issaquah, to carry and treat wastewater.

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 then uses the rates Issaquah customers pay to maintain the regional sewer system.

In addition to the residential hike, commercial sewer rates increase 8.3 percent next year.

King County Council members increased the rate in June in order to pay the long-term bonds used to finance Brightwater, a $1.8 billion treatment plant under construction near Woodinville.

Officials said the rate increase should also offset increases in the cost of maintaining and operating a regional wastewater system serving customers in King County, and parts of Snohomish and Pierce counties.

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