Post Falls fee hikes planned - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Post Falls fee hikes planned

Wastewater fee proposed to jump 14.5 percent

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Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 12:00 am

POST FALLS - Post Falls wastewater rates are proposed to increase 14.5 percent on Oct. 1, while water rates are planned to jump 2.5 percent.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the fee hike proposals tonight at 6.

For the average residential user with 5,000 gallons of water use per month, the wastewater fee will increase from $33.79 to $38.69 per month and the water fee from $5.10 to $5.25.

The wastewater fee also increased 14.5 percent last year.

The fee increase proposals are "based on engineering recommendations to adequately fund operating and capital expenditures such as the wastewater reclamation upgrades required," said Jason Faulkner, the city's finance director.

The wastewater fee increase is the result of treatment plant upgrades needed due to stricter water quality standards for the Spokane River that have been mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Post Falls, Coeur d'Alene and the Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board discharge treated wastewater to the Spokane River.

Post Falls' wastewater fee is proposed to increase 10 percent, 9 percent and 7 percent in the next three years as part of a five-year plan to fund upgrades. By the end of the plan, the fee would rise to $49.63 per month.

No change in the street light fee of $3.85 is proposed.

* In other business, the council will consider a request from the Highland Homeowners Association to have East Inverness Drive receive an asphalt overlay rather than being chip-sealed.

A portion of Inverness was chip-sealed last year.

"This was not a quality job," city administrator Shelly Enderud wrote in an email to the council. "The street department has gone up with the street sweeper in an attempt to improve the loose rocks, but the oil simply did not seal well with the rocks.

"A new company has been hired this year and we are using Strata to ensure quality control with the process."

Terry Werner, the city's public services director, said the total length of Inverness is 5,650 feet. The city planned to chip-seal and fog-seal the road at a cost of $28,787 this summer.

Last summer the city applied a half-inch asphalt layer on 3,162 feet of Inverness that it had planned to chip-seal this summer.

"Without chip-sealing this summer, the thin asphalt patch will not hold up in the long run," Werner said.

Werner said if the city applies the proper asphalt overlay (2 inches for 2,488 feet and 1.5 inches for the remaining 3,162 feet) the estimated cost for the coating and a fog seal would be $134,987.

The city's street maintenance plan would need to be revised by about $106,200 if the request is approved.

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  • MixMart posted at 11:13 pm on Tue, Aug 5, 2014.

    MixMart Posts: 1125

    If you live in Post Falls and its so terrible why don't you move elsewhere?

  • 5inPfs posted at 6:02 pm on Tue, Aug 5, 2014.

    5inPfs Posts: 689

    "And it is fair to the rest who already paid their fees when they bought their house"

    I thought they've been kicking it down the road?

  • 5inPfs posted at 6:00 pm on Tue, Aug 5, 2014.

    5inPfs Posts: 689

    Wow. What IS it about the overpass at Greensferry that gets in your craw so much, Grey? You complain about that so much it really makes me wonder why.

    I didn't know the city owned the outlet malls...?

  • efromm posted at 4:34 pm on Tue, Aug 5, 2014.

    efromm Posts: 669

    This is just the cost of improvement. This is the effect of everyone deciding that North Idaho is the place to live now. It costs a lot more to build things now than it did 30 years ago. They have been kicking the can down the road for decades and now it's caught up all at once. And now the very people who moved here will be the ones who will pay the higher fees along with whats left of the locals. Either way the people moving here will pay. I think it's fair to say that the developer should be charged the fees first and he can recollect them from the home owner when he sells the home. It's a more honest way of doing business with the community. And it is fair to the rest who already paid their fees when they bought their house. Win Win.....

  • Intrepid posted at 4:22 pm on Tue, Aug 5, 2014.

    Intrepid Posts: 1057

    This impact more than Post Falls. Many surrounding cities contract with PF for these services. This is a 14.5% increase for all of Rathdrum too.

  • greyhound2 posted at 11:17 am on Tue, Aug 5, 2014.

    greyhound2 Posts: 777

    Favorite past-time in Post Falls is figuring out how to raise the City Water Bill. Since 1996. ot has climbed over 340% from $16.50 to over $60.00 per front door. Why its called a "Water" bill is a mystery as it is mostly a "Sewer" bill.

    To lessen impact, here are some suggestions:
    1. Reduce over-paid $100,000/ year supervisor salaries by 60% and cut City Employees by 30%.
    2. Sell off the "Hall of Mirrors" City Hall and turn it into an antique mall.
    3. Sell off the failed "Field of Weeds" development next to the dam for something useful.
    4. Sell off the failed "Business Park" across from the Outlet Stores and sell the empty "Outlet Stores".
    5. Sell off new City vehicles and replace with used.
    6. Require developers pay costs of sewer, streets and lighting on new developments.

    Positive developments would be to:
    1. Cancel all user fees at City parks for use and boat launch fees.
    2. Scrub the useless $13/million overpass on Greensferry Road as 5 already exist on I-90.
    3. Close the gym and lunch room at the Police Station as they can always take a walk and bag lunch.
    4. Re-open the old City Hall for staff as they don't need all that room.
    5. Re-vamp billing by lot size and not front door unless seperate shut-off valves are offered.

    Problem solved. No increase.

  • crust123 posted at 11:08 am on Tue, Aug 5, 2014.

    crust123 Posts: 178

    Fee increase of 14.5% in these times?!?!
    on top of 14.5% increase last year???
    Whatever happened to living within your means Post Falls??

    Highest tax rates in the area, and now no doubt the highest waste water rates in the area.
    Do these administrators live in Post Falls?

    Absolutely absurd !!!

  • SamuelStanding posted at 7:22 am on Tue, Aug 5, 2014.

    SamuelStanding Posts: 515

    Yup, yup. Gotta collect more money somewhere, so there are funds to pay for "Oopsies". Like the street dividers down Mullan Ave. Put those in and now we have the "BEST WAIST HIGH WEEDS" growing anywhere!

    Nice move Post Falls. Understand that costs rise, but stop creating more money pits when you have NO INTENTIONS of follow through. City Planners I tell ya.

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