SUMMARY OF 2017 UTILITY RATES



As part of the 2017 budget process, the Silverton City Council will be discussing the City’s infrastructure needs at the February 6, 2017 meeting. The infrastructure needs include potential increases to Stormwater, Street and Water Utility rates. These public services are not funded by tax dollars; they are supported by utility rates and fees paid to three separate “enterprise funds.” Any increases the City Council approves will be in effect beginning July 01, 2017. 

Stormwater 


With the current stormwater utility rates, the City is able to complete a few stormwater management projects approximately every 5 years by accumulating funding over multiple years. A $3.00 per month increase is necessary to address the increasing need for stormwater management throughout the City. The funds will be used to pay costs associated with current and future badly needed projects.  These projects will allow the City to address the stormwater management needs that are necessary to maintain regulatory compliance and to protect public and private properties from damage associated with strormwater runoff.  Upcoming projects to be funded by this increase include the McClaine Street Stormwater Project and the Downtown Stormwater Assessment.   
The $3.00 increase and annual Consumer Price Index-Urban increase (CPIU) will be considered by Council at the February 6, 2017 Council meeting and is effective July 01, 2017.

Streets 


With the current street maintenance fee, the City is unable to adequately maintain its aging street inventory.  As a result, the City’s roadway network has declined in condition requiring more large scale reconstruction projects.  A $3.00 per month increase is necessary in order to halt the decline of the City’s pavement condition and to reverse that course so that standard, cost-effective pavement management techniques can be utilized instead of requiring more expensive reconstruction projects.  The funds will be used to address the City’s widespread pavement needs and will include the McClaine Street Reconstruction Project and several pavement overlay projects.  
The $3.00 increase and annual Consumer Price Index-Urban increase (CPIU) will be considered by Council at the February 6, 2017 Council meeting and is effective July 01, 2017.
 

Water 


The primary revenue source within the Water budget is from water sales. Water customers are charged a base rate, based on meter size, a fixed fee, based on the number of users served by the meter, and a commodity rate per hundred cubic feet.  In addition to keeping up with rising construction costs, the 15% utility rate increase will help fund several time-sensitive projects to restore components of the city’s aging water treatment and distribution infrastructure.  In addition, the funds generated by this increase will be used to provide grant matching funds and/or debt service payments associated with the necessary Water Treatment Plant Improvement Project.  This project has an estimated cost of $10.4 million dollars.  The 15% increase will result in an average residential customer increase of $4.50 per month. The 15% increase will be considered by Council at the February 6, 2017 Council meeting and is effective July 01, 2017.  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



Residential Customers


The average customer using 547 cubic feet of water currently pays $101.51 per month for water, sewer, stormwater, street maintenance and park fee.  If rate increases are approved by the City Council, the average customer’s bill will increase by $10.50.  Impacts to customers will vary depending on classification, usage and number of users per account.

Amounts based off City wide Average Residential Usage of 547CF
  Current Proposed Change
WATER $29.95 $34.45 $4.50 
SEWER (no increase proposed) $59.92 $59.92 $0.00
PARK (no increase proposed) $1.52 $1.52 $0.00
STORM $4.05 $7.05 $3.00
STREET $6.07 $9.07 $3.00
TOTAL $101.51 $112.01 $10.50

Averaging Period and “Opt-Out” Option


The City is currently in the averaging period for the Sewer usage portion of the utility bill to be charged to the residential customers.  The usage charge is determined by taking the average water consumption using the actual consumption for November through April billing periods.  Residential customers have the option to “opt-out” of the averaging method and have the usage charge based on actual water consumption for each month. To “opt-out” the customer must complete an applicable form by April 30th and submit it to the Finance Department. 

Utility Assistance Program


Each budget year, City Council allocates a fixed amount to be used for seniors and low income residents. The Silverton Area Community Aid (SACA) administers this program for the City.  To qualify for assistance:

  • You must be a customer of the City’s water or sewer utilities for at least six months and reside within the City limits.
  • Clients are eligible for only one (1) Utility Assistance Program (UAP) payment per calendar year, up to a maximum amount of $125. This limitation will in no manner effect or reduce the amount of other SACA assistance funds for which a client may be eligible.  
  • The program will follow the Federal LIHEAP (Low Income Home energy Assistance Program) income guidelines for determining eligibility for the UAP.  
  • To sign up for assistance, please contact SACA at 503-873-3446.

How to Calculate Your Bill


Information on rates and how to calculate your utility bill is located on the City website at this link

If you have questions about your bill please contact the Finance Department at 503-873-5321