PUD to hold rate increase hearings

by Sequim Gazette staff

The Clallam County Public Utility District commissioners will hold public hearings in May to consider the implementation of a 6-percent increase to its water rates.


Executive Communications Coordinator Michael Howe said PUD staff are recommending a rate increase of 6 percent effective on all bills rendered on or after June 1, as well as an additional 6 percent in 2012 and 2013.


Howe said the rate increase is necessary in response to regulatory mandates, the need to fund ongoing maintenance costs of aging infrastructure and to meet other operational costs.


“While it is unfortunate any increase is needed, the ability to provide safe and reliable water service to our customers is important,” PUD General Manager Doug Nass said in a news release. “Mandates, operational and maintenance costs result in rate pressures that need to be addressed.”


A study examining the cost of water service suggested a 9.8-percent increase was needed but PUD staff whittled it down to 6 percent by deferring some projects and reallocating resources, Howe said.


The PUD serves approximately 4,300 water customers in Clallam County, who each would see an average monthly bill increase of $2-$4 based on a household usage average of 1,000 cubic feet per month, Howe said.


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