MCSD to consider sewer rate hike Wednesday

Jack Durham
Mad River Union

McKINLEYVILLE – The McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors may take a final vote Wednesday, June 3 on raising sewer rates, assuming that it doesn’t receive protests from more than half its customers.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Azalea Hall, 1620 Pickett Road, McKinleyville.

If the increase is approved,  sewer rates in McKinleyville would nearly double over the next five years to pay for the construction and operation of a new wastewater treatment plant.

The rates would increase the average single-family household’s bill by about 92 percent over five years.

The first increase would start July 1. A single family residence using 800 cubic feet of water a month would see the sewer portion of its bill go up from the current $29.40 a month to $36.55, an increase of $7.06. Afterward, the yearly increases would be $6.98 in 2016, $3.75 in 2017, $4.61 in 2018 and $4.77 in 2019.

By July 2019, the sewer portion of the bill would be $56.66, an increase of $27.17 compared to the current charge.

The rate hikes would pay for a $17 million upgrade at the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Hiller Park, along with the increased costs of operating the facility. The additional revenues would also pay for other sewer infrastructure improvements and would maintain healthy reserve funds, which is a requirement of the low-interest loan obtained by the MCSD to finance the project.

In raising the rates, the district has to follow the requirements of Prop. 218, which allows ratepayers to protest the increase and halt it if they can muster enough opposition. The MCSD would need to receive written protests from people representing more than 50 percent of the affected parcels in town.

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