Editor's Note: This is a press release from the City of Sumner
The City of Sumner needs to set its new utility rates as part of the 2013-2014 budget cycle. The residential water bill base rate will go from the current $12.30 to $17.22 in 2013 and $19.63 in 2014. The residential sewer bill base rate will go from the current $41.27 to $45.61 in 2013 and $50.39 in 2014. Storm rates will stay the same in 2013 at $9.97 and increase to $10.84 in 2014.
A 2012 Water, Sewer, and Storm Rate Study showed that these increases are necessary to keep pace with costs needed to supply and distribute water as well as collect and safely treat stormwater and sewage. Unfortunately, low water rates in previous years have left little to no funding for needed water supply, emergency repairs and routine upgrades to keep the systems functioning well.
“While we never like to raise rates, these systems are too important for our health and environmental safety to neglect the upkeep they require,” said Mayor Dave Enslow, who recommends that the City Council adopt these changes. Over the past eight years combined, the City has raised water base rates a total of $3.49. Sewer has increased $7.80 and stormwater rates decreased $1.26 in that timeframe.
Sumner Base Rate Comparison
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Water $10.06 $10.64 $10.60 $12.30 $12.30 $17.22 $19.63 Sewer $35.69 $37.76 $.61 $41.27 $41.27 $45.61 $50.39 Stormwater $9.46 $10.01 $9.97 $9.97 $9.97 $9.97 $10.84
With its current rates, Sumner has nearly the lowest combined utility rate in Pierce County. Since other cities in the region are also considering rate increases, it is expected that Sumner’s combined 2013 utility rates will likely be in the mid-range when compared to other Pierce County cities.
The City Council heard the first reading of the proposed rate changes at the Oct. 1 council meeting. The second reading and decision is expected at the Oct. 15 meeting.