City Council Adopts New Water Rate Plan; What Does This Mean For - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City Council Adopts New Water Rate Plan; What Does This Mean For YOUR Bill?

Posted: Updated:

City of Spokane Press Release:

In a 6-0 vote, the Spokane City Council tonight adopted new water rates for 2012, as proposed by Mayor David Condon as part of his 100-Day Action Plan. 

"I want to thank the City Council Members for their unanimous decision tonight," says Mayor Condon.  "Our citizens asked us to find a better way to charge for water.  We have now approved a new rate structure for 2012 that's understandable, more affordable, and predictable."

The new rates, which will take effect in time for the summer watering season, are designed to reduce high summer watering bills and provide water customers with more predictable monthly expenses.  The proposal uses the rate structure from 2010 as a base and makes changes to cover inflation since that time. 

Under the newly adopted 2012 water rates, residential customers will pay dramatically less for water consumption during the summer watering season. At other times of the year, the average customer will pay the same as they do today or slightly more. 

Commercial customers will see the same decreases in water usage charges as residential customers.  The commercial rate structure from 2010 is retained with the same increases as those added to the residential rates.

Overall, the newly adopted rates include:

  • A return to the four rate tiers as they existed in 2010, making the rates more understandable while continuing to encourage conservation. The current system has five tiers that charge significantly more as water use increases.
  • Retention of graduated block pricing to make water more affordable.  This helps citizens pay less because your usage is billed progressively at each tier.  In past years, 100 percent of the usage was billed at the highest applicable rate tier.  
  • An increase in the base charge from $12.32 to $13.61, to help the City maintain the water system. All customers will pay a little more on the base charge to make up for the reduction in rates during peak watering times.
  • A significant reduction in the rate increase for water use. The Mayor is proposing an inflation-only increase from the 2010 rates.  This amounts to a total of 4.5 percent from 2010 to 2012 and replaces the 16 percent increase in consumption rates for 2012 approved by the prior City Council.
  • A move to monthly billing in the summerAs part of a pilot project, water meters will be read monthly in the summer so bills are more predictable.

Additionally, the new rates require the City to manage the Water Department more efficiently.  The Water Department will make reductions to accommodate a drop of about $2 million in revenue as a result of the new rates.

"Our citizens have had to make difficult choices to manage their budgets in recent years, and these new rates require the City to do the same, consistent with our overall budget strategy," says Mayor Condon.  "We made a difference today for our citizens."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • FIRST ON KHQ.COM: hikers find body in Spokane Valley; homicide investigation begins

    FIRST ON KHQ.COM: hikers find body in Spokane Valley; homicide investigation begins

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:33:29 GMT
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- On Thursday night major crimes detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office began investigating the discovery of a body in Spokane Valley.The body was found earlier in the evening by a couple walking in a wooded area near Parkside At Mirabeau Apartments.>>
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- On Thursday night major crimes detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office began investigating the discovery of a body in Spokane Valley.The body was found earlier in the evening by a couple walking in a wooded area near Parkside At Mirabeau Apartments.>>
  • Candlelight vigil held for both husband and wife in murder-suicide

    Candlelight vigil held for both husband and wife in murder-suicide

    Friday, August 1 2014 2:22 AM EDT2014-08-01 06:22:44 GMT
    Chris and Sheena HendersonChris and Sheena Henderson
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Thursday night there was a candlelight vigil held for Chris and Sheena Henderson in Franklin Park. The vigil was overseen by a Spokane Police Chaplain. He said that today's vigil was about hope, help, healing, and ultimately, forgiveness.On July 8th, Spokane police say 37-year-old Chris Henderson went to the Deaconess Medical Center complex where his wife, 30-year-old Sheena Henderson, worked and shot her multiple times. He then fatally shot himself. No one else was hurt.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Thursday night there was a candlelight vigil held for Chris and Sheena Henderson in Franklin Park. The vigil was overseen by a Spokane Police Chaplain. He said that today's vigil was about hope, help, healing, and ultimately, forgiveness. >>INSIDE: Raw interview with Sheena Henderson's father
    >>