Several Washougal residents recently complained about utility rate increases that were approved two years ago.
The second year of increases has resulted in a single family residence — within city limits — paying an estimated $174.60 for water, sewer and storm water, every two months this year. That compares to $144.59 every two months in 2011.
During the April 2 Washougal City Council meeting, Cecil Hopkins complained about the rate increases.
“People can’t pay their bills,” he said. “Most of us are low income.”
Darlene Hopkins said she understands that things go up.
“The rates are more than we deserve,” she said. “The rates are hard on low-income and no-income families.”
The city’s 2012 budget includes a water rate increase of 13.5 percent, sewer rate increase of 26.5 percent and storm water rate increase of 14.5 percent.
Mayor Sean Guard said the five-year rate increases were approved by City Council in 2010, after there were discussions at many meetings. The increases were required to pay for water and sewer infrastructure improvements, in order to meet state and federal regulations.