Politics & Government

Pierce County Council committee proposes phasing in sewer hookup charge

A Pierce County Council committee Tuesday recommended phasing in a proposed increase in a sewer hookup charge over two years instead of raising it all at once.

The County Council, while expressing support for the phased-in approach, delayed a vote until Aug. 19.

A council committee recommended the sewer capacity charge – which hasn’t changed in 30 years – be increased from $1,250 to $2,410 on Jan. 1, 2015 in Lakewood, University Place and unincorporated parts of the county.

It would go up to $3,100 in 2016 and to $3,618 in 2017.

The original proposal called for a one-time increase to $3,450 next January, with annual inflationary changes thereafter.

The phase-in plan gives builders and home buyers time to adjust.

A study group of county staff and members of the building and development industry also would be set up to review the higher capacity charge. It would help pay for the $353 million expansion of the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place.

Basin area charges – a second part of sewer connection fees – would increase by an average of 6 percent as previously planned.