Tag Archives: Sewer

The Basic Foundation

The word Infrastructure usually refers to  public systems and services that are necessary for economic activity. We think of roads, power grids, water supplies and sewer systems. They are large scale and we pool our money together to create an economic benefit of all. In July those of us who live in the Lake Whatcom Water & Sewer District received a letter describing proposed rate hikes.  Over the next 5 years our sewer and water rates will rise above current inflation rates, even though they have been on a constant rise for past 5 years. The notice gave us the reasons for the extraordinary rises: Small Customer base to spread the cost over Slow growth, no new customers. Few commercial and no industrial accounts. These reasons point to the other definition of Infrastructure that of basic organization: the most basic level of organizational structure in a complex body or system that serves as a foundation for the rest. The reasons for Lake Whatcom’s extraordinary expense can be directly attributed to polices put in place by our basic organization The Whatcom County Council. We are merely a microcosm of the greater Whatcom county and what is ahead for everyone else with …

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Water / Sewer Rates on Steep Incline for Whatcom County

The Lake Whatcom Water & Sewer District (LWWSD) sent out a letter this week regarding their proposed increases for water and sewer rates. I am left wondering how other properties in Whatcom County will fare as the Department of Ecology layers more costly regulatory hurdles on us? Their  letter admits that the LWWSD rates are high in comparison to other water and sewer utilities. The LWWSD cite a number of reasons for the need to increase water and sewer rates: Smaller customer base Stagnant growth Aging infrastructure Few industrial or commercial accounts They even offer a number of subsidies to help single family households to manage the overall 21% increase in rates over the next five years: Low-Income Senior and Disabled Rate – LWWSD propose to create discounted rates for low-income seniors and the disabled single family residents of up to 40%. Conservation Block Rate – LWWSD propose to consolidate a group of single family residential water customers to create an artificially higher volume of water usage per month, entitling them to the lower overage rate. Well I have a question for the LWWSD. Who picks up the difference after you’ve created the subsidized households and is that sustainable? As …

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