Ordinance 1066, Water Bill Adjustments

Mayor JW Foster Proposes Water Rate Adjustment for City Council to Address High Costs Resulting from High Consumption During Extreme Heat and Governor’s Stay at Home Order 

People being home more, in combination with the abnormally hot summer in Washington has significantly impacted water usage for our customers.  This is why Mayor Foster proposed Ordinance 1066 to City Council, who is responsible for setting all rates and fees, in order to temporarily adjust the water rate structure.

“We understand during these trying times, it is more important than ever to do what we can to help,” said Mayor Foster. “We have received a lot of requests from residents asking for some relief and that’s what this proposal aims to do. Council has the responsibility for setting rates and we all want to provide water billing relief during unreasonably hot weather and the COVID-19 pandemic. This is something Council also wants to fix and we’re all working together.”

Water rates are structured in tiers based on the amount of water customers consume. Council was presented with this proposal at their public meeting on September 8, 2020 and will consider taking action at their meeting on September 22, 2020. If passed, water consumption rates for the remainder of 2020 will be modified. The Tier 4 rate and the Tier 3 rate will be reduced from $16.68 (Tier 4) and $10.24 (Tier 3) to $9.41 per 100 cubic foot.

Additionally, for the customers who went into Tier 4 during their August bill, a credit will be applied to their account consistent with the new rates for everyone who used over 2,800 cubic feet of water during the August 31st billing cycle based on the new rates.

“Also, beginning next year City Council and our Public Works Director will continue working to analyze and evaluate options for permanent rate adjustments in ways that account for customer usage and still allow us to sustain the operations of the essential infrastructure these rates pay for,” said Mayor Foster.

For anyone who wants to see their water logs, which indicate the precise time customers turn water on and off each day, our Customer Service Team would be glad to provide this information to help customers manage their consumption and costs. Our Customer Service Team can be contacted at 360-458-3244. All of the water rate structures can be found on the City’s webpage at: https://www.yelmwa.gov/water_sewer_and_stormwater_rates.php