Eatonville council takes first step to increase stormwater, sewer rates

The Eatonville Town Council addressed several end-of-the-year housekeeping duties at its Dec. 14 meeting, including the first reading of a pair of resolutions dealing with the town’s stormwater and sewer service rates.

Resolution 2020-S provides for a two-tiered increase in stormwater service rates, first in 2021 and then in 2022. Current monthly rates are as follows: single family/small commercial properties are $8.80, multi-family/low income properties are $4.50, medium commercial properties are $17.10 and large commercial properties are $25.60.

As of January 2021, those same fees would increase to $9.90, $5.30, $18.90 and $28, respectively. In January 2022 they would be bumped up to $11.20, $6.20, $20.70 and $30.50, respectively.

Councilmember Robert Thomas balked at the proposed fee increase during a time of economic hardship brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have a real hard time voting for a 27 percent increase in storm rates over the next two years,” he said. “That’s not going to float, not with me.”

Thomas suggested the proposed rate increases be scaled back “until the economy gets rolling again.”

Councilmember Bill Dunn said, according to the fiscal year 2021 budget, the stormwater systems fund will take a $40,000 loss, adding it was unavoidable that the council would have to tackle the issue.

The first reading of the resolution passed 3-1, with Thomas casting the lone “no” vote. Councilmember Jennie Hannah was excused for being on vacation out of the country.

The first reading of Resolution 2020-T regarding sewer services played out the same way, passing by the same 3-1 vote breakdown.

The resolution allows for the monthly sewage fee to increase in January 2021 to $51.10 for single family, $42.90 for multi-family, $43.90 for low income, $51.10 for non-profit commercial, $43.60 for a commercial .75-inch meter, $53.80 for a commercial 1-inch meter, $67 for a commercial 1.5-inch meter, $81.30 for a commercial 2-inch meter, $113.20 for a commercial 3-inch meter, $145.70 for a commercial 4-inch meter and 22 cents per usage of 100 gallons of water.

Those respective rates would increase in January 2022 to $56.20, $48.30, $48.30, $56.20, $47.90, $59.10, $73.70, $89.40, $124.60, $160.30 and 25 cents per usage of 100 gallons of water.

In other news, Dunn was elected to a six-month term as mayor pro tem of Eatonville — Jan. 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021 — at the Dec. 14 meeting of the Eatonville Town Council. Thomas was elected alternate.

The mayor pro tem exercises the mayor’s authority in the case of an absence, disability or vacancy in office.

The council passed Resolution 2020-U, authorizing the purchase and distribution of energy conservation kits — LED lights, masks and hand sanitizer —to residential utility customers via the Bonneville Power Administration.

Eatonville receives a biennium allocation of Energy Efficiency Incentive Funds through the BPA. The town currently has nearly $92,000 of available funds and can only carry over a maximum of $50,000 each biennium. The purchase and distribution of the kits brings the available EEI Funds available below the $50,000 balance, so no funds will be lost.

Finally, the council passed Resolution 2020-V, setting Jan. 11, 2021, as the date of a public hearing to consider an ordinance to vacate a 1,300-square-foot alleyway on the east side of Adams Avenue South on behalf of the Mill Haus Cidery, located at 4406 161st Ave. E.


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