City council considering water rate increase

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane City Council is discussing water rate increases again, just six months after a new system was put in place.

The water rates that were passed in April are only in effect until the end of the year, which is why the city council needs to vote on rates for 2013.

Last year's water rates were a sticker shock to many people and that's why Mayor David Condon vowed to make changes to the water rate system. The city council agreed and rates were brought down to 2010 levels, plus adjustments for inflation. Under the proposal for next year, water and wastewater rates would be raised 3.5-percent.

"We are trying to keep those rate increases around the rate of inflation so that's really our goal to make whatever increases we need to be small and manageable for our citizens," city spokesperson Marlene Feist said.

Under the plan, garbage rates for next year will stay the same. The city says that the average user will probably see an increase of $2.50 each month for all three utilities.

Feist said the rate increases will help fund needed infrastructure projects.

The council will read the proposal at Monday night's meeting and public discussion will be later on in the month.

The city needs to adopt 2013 water rates by the end of November.