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Spokane City Council Sets Utility Rates

The Spokane City Council has voted to set the city’s utility rates for the next three years. Residents will pay 2.9% more for their water, sewer and garbage rates next year. The average residential rate next year will be about $124 a month. The council also voted to increase rates by 2.9% in 2019 and 2020.

Public Works Director Scott Simmons says the new three-year regime will provide residents and businesses with both rate stability and affordability. He says the new rates will allow the city to continue with projects that help the city keep the Spokane River clean. He says the city will also continue with efforts to promote water conservation.

The council voted to defer a proposal to provide a $10-a month credit for utility bills to so-called ‘vulnerable citizens’, include seniors and disabled people. Property owners would have to show they qualify. The city estimates there about four thousand of those. Several council members said they approve of the idea, but want more time to study and refine the lists of who would be eligible.