Dear Eastsound Sewer Users,
In February of this year, the Board of Commissioners of the Eastsound Sewer & Water District (ESWD) approved a rate increase in order to help finance the Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Project. ESWD held a townhall to discuss the need for and scope of the expansion project in 2019. Due to potential economic hardships created by the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the Board of Commissioners decided to defer the implementation of the rate increase until January 1, 2021.
Due to the growing needs of our community, the Board of Commissioners recognize the need to move forward with the Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion project. Additionally, the expansion project will allow ESWD to perform much needed repairs and maintenance of the existing treatment cells.
ESWD engaged the services of Wilson Engineering, LLC to design the expansion project. ESWD has also secured funding for the project through the State of Washington, Department of Ecology. Unfortunately, ESWD did not obtain hardship status for grants and forgivable loans for construction of the project. As a result, funding will be in the form of a loan at a low interest rate paid over a 30 year period. ESWD continues to attempt to secure grants to assist in the expansion project.
In addition to repaying the loan, ESWD has not increased rates in eleven years, and given cost increases, ESWD announced last year the need for a rate increase. This is to remind you that ESWD determined that rates will increase by $15.00 per residential equivalent unit (ERU) to $63/month per ERU. This increase will be reflected on your monthly sewer service billing statement dated January 31, 2021. It is also anticipated that ESWD will increase rates on an annual basis to cover ever increasing costs of providing service to our customers.
Thank you for your understanding of the need to fund a very important public service for the protection of public health, the environment, ground water, shorelines and to ensure that we are protecting the Eastsound aquifer, the source of the communities drinking water.
If you have any questions, please call the District office and staff at (360) 376-2720.