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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 15, 2014
Contact:
Jim Bachmeier, Water Resource Program at (360) 754-4275 or BachmeJ@co.thurston.wa.us
Barb Wood, Water Resource Program at (360) 754-3355 x6809 or WoodBa@co.thurston.wa.us

Sept. 16 Public Hearing on Proposed Stormwater Rates
Public comment invited at 3 p.m. public hearing

The Thurston County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, September 16 at 3 p.m. on the proposed plan to increase monthly stormwater rates between 57 cents and $1.65 over the next five years for unincorporated county residents. The public is invited to participate in informed discussion, and testimony will be accepted at the September 16 hearing.

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 included in the utility's Capital Facility Program. The increased fees will also help pay for additional staffing for environmental monitoring and public outreach programs about stormwater control and protecting against pollution.

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 $8.48 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 $6.15 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 all unincorporated county residents is charged on the annual 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.

To learn more about the county's Storm and Surface Water Utility and about the 2015-2019 stormwater rate proposal, visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/stormwater.


WHAT: Public Hearing on 2015-2019 Stormwater Rate Proposal

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 3 p.m.

WHERE: County Courthouse Building One, Room 280 at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW in Olympia



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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3