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Puyallup votes down utility rate hike

Post by Sara Schilling / The News Tribune on Oct. 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm with 2 Comments »
October 21, 2010 4:59 pm

The City of Puyallup isn’t raising its utility rates to pay for future infrastructure needs — at least for now.

After a lengthy discussion this week, the city council narrowly voted down a proposal to raise the rates between 4 and 7 percent each year for six years starting in 2012.

“At some point we have to do something,” said Councilwoman Nicole Martineau, who with Mayor Kathy Turner and Deputy Mayor Tami Brouillet voted for the plan.

Council members Don Malloy, Rick Hansen, Kent Boyle and John Knutsen voted against, saying now isn’t the time to raise rates because of the economy.

The city runs its own utilities. The existing rates pay for operations but don’t generate enough money to cover repairing and replacing infrastructure, Finance Director Cliff Craig has said. The most recent rate increase was in 2008.

The city hired consultants to study the utility rates, and they recommended a stair-step increase over six years.

The council considered the consultants’ plan Tuesday, along with some alternatives presented by city staff.

“I’m not ready to do it this year,” Malloy said during the meeting. “I’d consider it next year if things improve.”

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. TheOutlawJoseyWhales says:

    There will be a better time to upgrade infrastructure. It was a good decision for now.

  2. America’s aging infrastructure is an ongoing worry. I was hoping for a
    WPA/CCC type approach a couple of years ago. We’re still depending on those projects built in 1935. That would have killed two
    birds with one stone.

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