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.