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 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.”