Council Recommends Phasing in Water & Sewer Increases

Release Date: 
10/14/2013

The Hermiston City Council recommended Monday night that a plan be created to raise water and sewer rates incrementally for a total increase of 16% by July 1, 2015.  The recommendation will equal an 8% increase by July 1, 2014, and by another 8% by July 1, 2015.  The increases, recommended by D. Hittle & Associates, Inc., are largely driven by the planned need to pay for construction and operation of the City’s new $27.2 million Recycled Water Treatment Plant. 

Proposed Average Residential User’s Combined Water & Sewer Bill

City

Monthly Bill

Hermiston (Oct. ’12)

$56.38

Baker City (Oct. ’12)*

$58.69

Hermiston (July, ’14)

$60.86

Hermiston (July, ’15)

$65.78

La Grande (Oct. ’12)

$75.03

Ontario (Oct. ’12)

$78.24

Pendleton (Oct. ’12)

$81.11

The Dalles (Oct. ’12)

$104.23

www.hermiston.or.us/finance/utility-burden

*Baker City implemented a 1.5% increase to water usage rates and a 3.75% increase to sewer rates July 1, 2013, and plans additional increases July 1, 2014.  Other cities may have also implemented, or have planned, rate increases.

 

The impact of the increases will still keep the bill for the average residential customer among the lowest of comparable Eastern Oregon cities.  An analysis of water and sewer rates completed in October, 2012 showed that the average Hermiston water and sewer user paid less for the same service than they would in La Grande, Baker City, Ontario, Pendleton, and The Dalles.  A comparison of Hermiston’s future rates against the other cities’ rates from last year shows that Hermiston rate payers will still see considerable savings.

 

“These increases will pay for the necessary upgrades to our systems to ensure that we continue to deliver top-quality water and sewer service to our residents well into the future,” Mayor David Drotzmann said.  “It’s reassuring to see that even with the scheduled increases, Hermiston’s rates remain very competitive compared to other cities.”

 

The City Council will consider a plan at its next meeting, October 28, 2013 to raise rates by 4% January 1, 2014, 4% July 1, 2014, 4% January 1, 2015, and 4% July 1, 2015.

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