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Water and sewer hearing planned

May 30, 1997

A public hearing on proposed increases in Washington County water and sewer rates will be held June 4 at 7 p.m. in Courtroom One of the Washington County District Court.

The County Commissioners have proposed a 5 percent increase in residential sewer rates and 2.3 percent increase in residential water rates for the average user.

Under the sewer increase, the average Washington County customer, who uses 12,000 gallons a quarter, would pay $16.52 more per year, far less than the $37.60 recommended by staff.

A water customer using 12,000 gallons a quarter would pay $9.36 more per year.

A study of water and sewer rates by consultants Black and Veatch last year had projected 14 percent sewer rate increases would be needed each year through 2002, followed by increases of 7 percent in 2003, 6 percent in 2004 and 5 percent in 2005.

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Reasons for the lower rate hikes included an increase in the general fund water and sewer subsidy from $2.7 million to $3.53 million a year, savings on refinanced bonds and potential savings on planned upgrades to the treatment plants.

County staff members have projected sewer rate increases between 7 percent and 9 percent a year until the year 2004, before dropping to 3 percent in 2006 and 2007.

The increases would help pay off $56 million in water and sewer debt.

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