​Questions and inquiries regarding News Release content should be directed to the Thurston County Public Information Officer:

Meghan Porter
360-867-2097

Bryan Dominique
360-867-2091

 
Thurston County News Release

 

Current News Releases

Past News Releases

Legal Notices

  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Contact:
Barb Wood, Water Resource Program (360) 754-3355 x6809 or WoodBa@co.thurston.wa.us

Public Invited to July Workshops on Stormwater Rates
Staff will discuss possible changes to rates for unincorporated county residents

Facing new clean water regulations at the federal and state levels, staff at the Thurston County Storm and Surface Water Utility are reaching out to area residents about a proposal being developed to increase monthly stormwater rates between 57 cents and $1.65 over the next five years for unincorporated county residents.

County staff will host three public workshops on the rate proposal and the work that's done by the utility to protect area waterways and water resources from pollution. The workshops will be at the Lacey Community Center on Tuesday, July 22, Rochester High School on Wednesday, July 23, and in Yelm on Thursday, July 24 at the former Masonic lodge at 302 Yelm Ave E. All three workshops will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The county is considering raising rates gradually over the next five years in response to new federal and state regulations related to the county's recent renewal of its National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II permit. The increased fees will be used to plan, design, and build stormwater projects as identified in the utility's Capital Facility Program. The increased fees will also help pay for additional staff resources for environmental monitoring, and public outreach programs about stormwater control and protecting against pollution.

"The goal is to ensure that as Thurston County grows, we have clean water for the future," said Chris Maun, education specialist for the county's Water Resources Program. "We need to have safe, clean drinking water in our aquifers, and also clean water for shellfish harvest, fishing, swimming and boating."

Under the rate increase proposal that is being developed, the monthly stormwater rates for county residents who live in unincorporated county urban growth areas would increase by $1.65 over the course of five years, making the monthly charge for stormwater control $7.17 in 2019. For residents who live in rural areas in the unincorporated county, the monthly rate would increase 57 cents over the course of five years, making the monthly charge for stormwater control $5.67 in 2019.

Thurston County Rural Residents Rate Proposal:
  • 2014 — $5.58 per month

  • 2015 — $5.67 per month, 9 cent increase

  • 2016 — $5.75 per month, 8 cent increase

  • 2017 — $5.92 per month, 17 cent increase

  • 2018 — $6.07 per month, 15 cent increase

  • 2019 — $6.15 per month, 8 cent increase

  • Total increase from 2014 to 2019 — 57 cents

Thurston County Urban Growth Area Residents Rate Proposal:
  • 2014 — $6.83 per month

  • 2015 — $7.17 per month, 34 cent increase

  • 2016 — $7.58 per month, 41 cent increase

  • 2017 — $7.92 per month, 34 cent increase

  • 2018 — $8.23 per month, 31 cent increase

  • 2019 — $8.48 per month, 25 cent increase

  • Total increase from 2014 to 2019 — $1.65

The stormwater fee for unincorporated county residents is charged twice a year on property tax statements.

The proposed fees for unincorporated county residents are similar to or even less than stormwater fees charged by other local jurisdictions. In 2015, Olympia households will be charged $11.45 per month for stormwater control; Lacey, $8.75; Tumwater, $7.15; and Yelm, $2.50.

The Thurston County Storm and Surface Water Utility:
  • Monitors and collects data to record water quality and quantity trends.

  • Completes watershed characterizations to provide best available science to decision makers on
    land-use issues.

  • Writes basin plans with other jurisdictions to address water problems like flooding, erosion and loss of wildlife habitat.

  • Ensures that the county complies with Department of Ecology regulations, which stem from the federal Clean Water Act.

  • Inspects, maintains drainage systems to preserve effective water quality treatment and flow control.

  • Builds construction projects to reduce pollution, flooding and erosion.

  • Educates residents about the importance of watersheds and reducing pollution caused by pet waste, motor oil, hazardous liquids and other sources.

  • Provides advice and on-site consultations for ratepayers who have drainage problems.

  • Teaches neighborhoods how to care for their stormwater ponds and other facilities that convey stormwater runoff.


To learn more about the county's Storm and Surface Water Utility and their work to control flooding, erosion and pollution, visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/stormwater.



-30-

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3