Water, sewer rates to increase in 2012

City of Forks water and sewer customers should expect to see an increase in their bills beginning in March.

The increase in rates comes after a year of a 10 percent rate reduction that Mayor Bryon Monohon decided to make in early 2011 at a time when their was uncertainty about the state of the local economy.

“He incorporated a Mayor suggested initiative in his budget that included lowering water and sewer rates by 10 percent, Monohon wanted to give residents a break,” a press release from the City of Forks states.

The rise in rates was discussed briefly at the Monday, Jan. 23 meeting of the Forks City Council, and is scheduled to be brought up again at the first meeting in February. The new ordinance for the rates takes effect on March 1.

As planned, on the March 2012 City of Forks statements for water and sewer users will find their rates have gone back to 2010 levels with an additional 3.2 percent cost of living increase tacked on. 

“In order to comply with state budget surplus requirements the Forks City Council budget session approved this increase,” the city’s statement says.

The base rate now for a three-quarter meter located inside the city limits is going from $20.89 to $21.56; similar meters located outside the city will go from $31.35 to $32.35.  

Included in the basic rates are use of up to 400 cubic feet or less of water.  There are  City charges for each additional 100 cubic feet of water used.

If water use exceeds 1,000 cubic feet the rate goes up again. Additional usage fees increase 10 cents or less per 100 cubic feet.

Sewer rates are set to rise for separate family residences, which will increase by 89 cents for the first 700 cubic feet of water consumption.

City figures show the rates are about equal to those applied in Sequm and about $5.00 less than Port Angeles.

“Although many other cities are struggling with failing utilities infrastructure,” Dave Zellar, City of Forks Public Works Director, said, “the Forks Water system is in ‘good shape.’”

City water and sewer users who have questions about the rate increases should contact Zellar at 374-ext. 5412 the mayor at ext. 244.

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