Snoqualmie City Council increases utility rates for water, sewer and stormwater services

Despite harsh weather, the Snoqualmie City Council met for its regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 27, but only two members attended in person and four phoned in to the meeting.

The council approved a new, four-year utility rate for sewer, stormwater and water service, effective April 1.

The new rates will increase the water utility costs by 5 percent and the stormwater costs by 5.65 percent each year until 2020. The sewer system will change to a strength-based structure, meaning users with more highly concentrated sewer flow, like a casino or brewery, would pay more. Each customer is categorized as residential, multifamily, low commercial or high commercial based on sewer utility usage.

For detailed rate changes, visit http://www.ci.snoqualmie.wa.us/Residents/Utilities/WaterUtilityServicesRates.aspx.

According to the city, the new rates were adopted to make sure the water, stormwater and sewer systems meet the state and federal regulatory standards are can be reliably maintained.

The ordinance also created a new General Facilities Charge, a one-time fee that new users pay to connect to the city’s utility system.

The council also approved three agenda bills, accepting a $250,000 transportation improvement grant, the purchase of three pickup trucks, and a resolution adopting a wayfinding sign program.

The approved Complete Street grant was awarded by the Transportation Improvement Board. The grant will be used for the addition of pedestrian-activated crossing lights to SE King Street and State Route 202, adding sidewalks on the south side of SE Newton Street from Doone Avenue SE to Reining Place SE, and adding three foot fencing between the railline along SR 202 from SE King Street to SE Fir Street.

The new vehicles were approved to replace older vehicles used by the Water and Street Department. According to the staff report, the old vehicles will be repurposed for the public works summer staff which will reduce the cost of their part-time vehicle rentals. The council approved the staff recommendation to buy three 2017 Ford Extended Cab Pickups for $45,000 each. For 2017, $257,581 was budgeted by the city for equipment replacements.

The resolution for the sign program simply formalizes the wayfinding sign service the city already implements.

No budgetary impact was listed. Mark Hofman, community development director for Snoqualmie, said that the services for that program are already built into salaries and costs.

“If someone wants one of those signs, they sign an agreement and they reimburse us” he said. “It’s been implemented Valley wide for quite some time. The resolution formalizes that.”

Finally, a public hearing on the proposed development of a hotel in the Business Park of Snoqualmie Ridge will be held at the next city council meeting on March 13.

The Snoqualmie city council meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month at city hall.


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