$30-million in upcoming city projects warrants utility rate study

cof utility bill snippet
Snippet of a City of Ferndale utility invoice (March 15, 2017). Photo: My Ferndale News
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Earlier this month City of Ferndale staff published a legal notice seeking a financial consultant to perform a study of the city’s water, sewer and stormwater utility rate structure.

According to the published legal notice (complete version is below), “This rate study is intended to analyze the existing rate structure and provide rate recommendations designed to fully fund utility expenditures as well as evaluate rate equity within the system.”

The city needs to cover $30,000,000 in expected costs for a waste water treatment plant expansion, upgrades and modifications and expected costs to connect a 3rd water well to the city’s water system.

The upcoming $26,000,000 waste water treatment plant upgrade and modification project is scheduled to begin late this year or early 2020. City staff say they have secured approximately $15,000,000 in low-interest State loans for this project.

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 A new well drilled in 2018 to a depth of over 1,000 feet will require construction of a well house and modifications to the water treatment plant to bring it online as part of the city water system. City staff estimate these projects will cost approximately $4,000,000.

The city also expects to replace and upgrade several large culvert crossings to “provide additional capacity and remove fish passage barriers” as part of a Washington State program. No cost estimates were given for these projects.

Applicants have until January 30th to submit their responses.

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