Camas approves new utility rate study

Consultant will analyze water, sewer, storm water and solid waste rates

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Last night, the Camas City Council approved a professional service contract for a study of the municipality’s water, sewer, storm water and solid waste utility rates.

The $85,330 contract with Financial Consulting Solutions Group, Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., includes a scope of work that covers data collection, an analysis of revenue requirements and rate design for all four utilities, and a cost of service study for water and sewer utilities. The effort will also include an analysis of alternative options for the sanitation utility service.

According to the contract, the study will be completed by the end of the year.

The last time Camas implemented increases to its utility rate schedule was in 2009, when the City Council approved changes to its water, sewer, storm water and sanitation rates. The series of increases began in January 2010, and have continued annually on an incremental basis through this year.

Those rate changes were based on a 2008 study, which was also conducted by FCS Group, Inc.

At that time, the increase in utility fee revenue paid for city projects intended to expand and improve the city’s water delivery system, and help the city meet state and federal mandates.

The current rates for sewer include a fixed charge of $17.87 per month, and a variable rate of $2.72 cents per 100 cubic feet. Water rates for the average residential household using 800 cubic feet of water is $19.30. The storm water rate is $9.27, and the garbage rate is $15.89.