Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

Palouse broaches utility rate increase

 

September 6, 2018 | View PDF



The prospect of a future utility rate increase in Palouse was broached at the city council meeting Aug. 28.

Kyle Dixon, city administrator, attended an Association of Washington Cities municipal budget conference in Leavenworth the week before and suggested that Palouse was overdue for utility increases, referring to sewer rates in particular.

The matter has not been further discussed by the mayor and city council.

“We have pretty reasonable rates,” said Mayor Michael Echanove. “You don’t want to get too far behind though. People like easy jumps vs. big jumps.”

Echanove indicated that further talks will come.

“Just because you haven’t raised rates for awhile doesn’t mean you need money,” he said.

The city is under a current mandate by the Washington Department of Ecology to comply with new rules on river discharge. Because of this, expensive sewer work is expected to come in the near future in Palouse.

Dixon pointed out that one reason to raise rates is that state agencies that give grants consider what rates are in each town or city that applies.

“If rates are too low, they may not think you’re in need,” Dixon explained..

Minimum utility bill in Palouse is $63.06 with $34 per month charged for sewer hookup.

 
 

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