The City of Washugal received a $ 1 million loan from the Washington State budget to provide community works assistance for its wastewater treatment plant improvement project.
“I do not know the exact dynamics of interest rates, but this is the preferred interest rate compared to the market. If we went to receive a yield bond of that $ 1 million, we would pay at the market rate for the city with our bond rating, but the loan would be lower, ”said City Councilor David Scott, City Manager of Washugal. August 9 master class. “This helps us to do everything in our power to reduce costs in the future, which is reflected in tariffs. We are doing everything we can to reduce (costs) in this area. “
The money in the public works aid account is used to make loans and grants, and to provide financial guarantees to local governments for public works projects.
“I wanted to thank our Legislative Delegation and the Legislature as a whole for their support in rebuilding and reimbursing public works assistance. Senators (Ann) Rivers and Representatives (Brandon) Wick and (Larry) Hoff: Thank you on behalf of this community and every community in the state, ”Scott said. “It was something that shrank significantly during the Great Recession, and it took a while as the state made some cuts to recover. But it’s a self-sustaining account – when we get our payments back, they can lend even more. This is one of the best examples of state-local partnerships to provide critical infrastructure to communities, so we are very grateful to our Legislative Delegation for that. ”
The city plans to expand its wastewater treatment plant with the construction of a mechanical biosolids plant, a government-sanctioned improvement in line with the Washington State Department of Environment (DOE) requirements. Trevor Evers, the city’s director of public works, estimates that engineers are currently estimating the expansion project to cost between $ 12.5 million and $ 14 million. Construction will begin in early 2023 and be completed by mid-2024, Evers said.
Over the past year, residents of Washugala have demanded answers about their water and sewer bills, which they claim are significantly higher than previous bills.
“We want to send a message to the city that we need to address high water costs,” Washugala resident Dee McGrath told Post-Record in 2020. “It hurts the community. It hurts the growth of our community. “
Capital expenditures on facilities associated with projects such as the construction of a biosolid plant are a significant driver of the rate hike, Evers said.
“Again, again, these projects are sanctioned by the Department of Energy,” Evers said in 2020. “We are always aware of the consequences and keep costs as low as possible. Cities the size of Washugal may have higher rates due to the need for new properties that only a smaller number of customers can pay for. “