Town of Washington to discuss water rate hike |

Town of Washington to discuss water rate hike

The price of water may go up $5 a month for Washington residents.

The Washington Water District will hold a public hearing Tuesday night to discuss increasing monthly water bills from $20 to $25 for its 110 customers.

Even at $25 a month, “that’s cheap. You know, that’s for all the water you can use,” said Jeanne Godfrey, one of the water district’s directors. Customers don’t have water meters, she explained.

The extra revenue would help pay the district’s share of a $400,000 construction project under way now, increase the water district’s reserves and help pay a part-time employee in charge of water treatment, Godfrey said.

Washington’s water supply originates in Canyon Creek. It’s chlorinated and filtered in a building near the creek. The treated water is then transported three miles to town through a 12-inch pipeline.

Two weeks ago, Koch Excavating of Penn Valley started work along the pipeline. The $400,000 project will include replacing a rickety, quarter-mile-long wooden flume with a new steel one.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency is funding the project with a $300,000 grant and a $100,000 loan.

The water district will repay the loan in installments of $5,000 a year for 40 years; the rate increase would help fund loan payments, Godfrey said.

Also, the state has suggested the water district create a larger reserve fund, she said. Currently, the district socks away 10 percent of its revenue and has about $19,000 in the bank, she said.

The rate increase would also help pay for the services of John Stark, a certified technician who works part time to oversee water treatment.

Know and Go

WHAT: Washington Water District rate hike discussion

WHEN: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Washington Schoolhouse

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