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The original item was published from 12/5/2012 3:54:08 PM to 4/1/2013 12:05:02 AM.

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Posted on: December 5, 2012

[ARCHIVED] Utility Rates for 2013

City of Monroe
806 West Main Street, Monroe, WA 98272
Phone (360) 794-7400 Fax (360) 794-4007


Stormwater Utility
There will be no rate increases for the stormwater utility in 2013. This utility manages all storm water detention ponds and related systems for our city’s environment. The state Department of Ecology sets standards that municipalities must follow to maintain these systems. The charge is a flat fee of $10.50 per residential unit, to compensate for the amount of impervious surface of each property where water cannot drain into the land.

Solid Waste Utility
There will be no rate increases for the solid waste utility in 2013. The city contracts with Republic Services for garbage, recycling, and organic/yard waste services. Per our solid waste contract with Republic Services, they have the ability to increase rates annually, using the Refuse Rate Index (RRI). The contract contains a 3.5% annual cap on this increase. The indexes came in at 4.6%. This increase affects only the service portion of the rates; the disposal portion remains the same. The overall difference to the city for the rates charged by Republic Services is a 2.4% increase. The city is able to absorb this increase by changing to a single-site community cleanup event instead of the curbside spring cleanup event, a decrease in customer service staff, and through using the fund balance.

Water Utility
There will be a 5.6% increase for the water utility in 2013. The city purchases all its water from the City of Everett. Everett is increasing the cost to purchase this water by 7%. This means the City of Monroe must increase water rates 5.6% to cover the cost of this increase. The average in-city residential customer’s water portion of their utility bill is $37.83, which would see an increase of $2.12. The increase is effective January 1, 2013, and would first show up on the bill received in early February 2013.

Sewer Utility
There will be a 14% increase for the sewer utility in 2013. The city’s wastewater treatment plant is in Phase III of upgrades and improvements required by the state to keep it running, and to avoid backups during flooding. A Sewer Comprehensive Plan was completed in 2007 and approved by the Department of Ecology in 2008. The plan identifies the capital projects that need to be done to keep the system running correctly. The entire Treatment Plant Upgrade Project costs $9.5 million. The City has already paid $1.6 million in design and technical drawings, and used $2.5 million from reserves. In 2011 the City issued bonds to pay for the remainder of the treatment plant’s upgrade construction. As required by the bond underwriters, an increase in the sewer rates is necessary in order to meet the debt service obligations to pay off the bonds. The in-city residential monthly sewer rate is currently $63.79, which will see an increase of $8.93 on the bill received in early February 2013.

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