Title 13 Public Utilities and Services
Chapter 13.03 Sewers
Article VIII. Wastewater General Facilities Charge
Findings – General Facilities Charge.The City Council finds:
under the previous system providing for collection of latecomer connection charges under chapter 35.91 RCW or special connection changes under RCW 35.92.025, customers happening to connect in certain areas must pay extra costs, although the primary benefit of access to the public sewer system is the same to a new customer, whether the customer is within or outside an area subject to such special connection charges.
Additionally, upgraded customers moving from a smaller to a larger connection capacity gain additional system benefits, but may otherwise escape paying a special connection or latecomer charge, once having connected and paid an initial connection charge based on a smaller size connection;
undue administrative burdens and costs are created in administering various connection and latecomer charges, each of which may have differing effective dates and which may also have differing limits in terms of allowable interest accruing on such payments as well as the period or periods such charges may be collected;
there is a system-wide benefit, served by a uniform, adjustable GFC, in encouraging system growth through infilling certain unserved areas and considering that expanding the overall customer rate base and customer densities will reduce fixed costs which must otherwise be spread over all classes of ratepayers;
it is in the public interest to provide for a more uniform rate structure and to replace individual area connection or latecomer fees with a single GFC rate, except only as may be distinguished by the size of connection or connection upgrade, as provided hereafter;
it is further in the public interest that those adding additional costs or burdens to the City sewer system by creating need and demand for new system growth and infill needs in the City sewer system should pay a GFC therefor. Such customers should be treated and classified in common with customers formerly also subject to a special connection or latecomer connection charge, so that only one uniform GFC should be paid by all customers with new or upgraded utility service.
Findings – Central Incentives Area (CIA).The City Council finds:
Washington State's growth management laws, including RCW 36.70A.110, encourage development first within existing urban areas before moving to other areas.
the City of Spokane's comprehensive plan and state growth management policies encourage the "infilling" of developed areas that still have some growth capacity. A consequence of not doing this is sprawling development out in long corridors or scattered areas, making the extension of needed urban services more expensive and less efficient for the public;
costs of encouraging development in more densely populated areas already served by existing utility lines is lower than extending new lines to more remote undeveloped areas. Existing utility lines are installed and designed to serve the full growth potential of an area, so it is an unwise use of resources to continue extending lines where some growth can still occur in developed areas;
the CIA established herein is in the category of a more densely populated area rather than a more remote, undeveloped area. The savings that City sewer and water utilities realize by encouraging development in the CIA, through not assessing a GFC to customers located there, is roughly proportional to the loss of the GFC revenues;
properties within the CIA are identified as generally of lower value investment than other areas served. The opportunity for new development in the CIA to recover acceptable investment value is of a more marginal, doubtful and unlikely character than customers connecting in areas outside the CIA. Adding a GFC to the class of customers in the CIA would make it significantly more difficult for further development or new connections in such areas. This result is contrary to public policy, growth management laws and responsible utility system management for the overall benefit of the ratepayers. Encouraging development in the CIA will benefit the City sewer and water utilities by new customer revenues, which would otherwise be lost if a GFC were assessed because such development would be less likely to occur;
the CIA as an area substantially deficient in development and heavily populated with low income and fixed income, poor or elderly customers;
there is a reasonable basis to classify customers seeking connection to premises in an CIA not to be subject to a GFC.
Empowerment Zone The boundaries of the CIA are:
On the west, the Spokane River;
On the south, a line running from Latah Creek to 9th Avenue, then east on 9th Avenue to Lincoln Street, then north on Lincoln Street to 5th Avenue, then east on 5th Avenue to Sherman Street, then south on Sherman Street to 9th Avenue, then east on 9th Avenue from Sherman Street to Havana Street;
On the east, a line running north on Havana Street from 9th Avenue to Francis Avenue, excluding Minnehaha Park and Esmerelda Golf Course;
On the north, a line running west along Francis Avenue from Havana to Division Street, then south on Division Street to Indiana Avenue, then west on Indiana Avenue to Monroe Street, then north on Monroe Street to Garland Avenue, then west on Garland Avenue to Ash Street, then south on Ash Street to Fairview Avenue, then west on Fairview Avenue to Cochran Street, then south on Cochran Street and T.J. Meenach Drive to the Spokane River; and
All land within the City Limits of the City of Spokane which is owned or controlled by, or subject to a proprietary interest of, the Spokane Airport Board.
The Director of Public Works shall maintain a copy of the map of the CIA (Attachment A to this ordinance) for public inspection.
Charge for new service or new upgrades inside the CIA: No charge.
Service Outside the CIA.
For new service or new upgrades to existing service from the City sewer system, a wastewater GFC is assessed as provided hereafter. The charge will be based on the water tap size that would otherwise be required for the facility without fire flow and/or irrigation flow.
Upgrades are charged at the current difference between the old and new connection size charges.
WATER TAP SIZE
2 inches or less
1 inch or less
* In a PUD, each house is charged individually the rate listed for "House".** Multi-family represents three or more living units.
The wastewater GFC is intended to supersede all prior special connection capital charges assessed to defray an equitable share of the cost of the City sewer system, except for such charges the City may be bound to continue pursuant to chapter 35.91 RCW (Developer Latecomer Charges) or which the City otherwise remains legally bound to collect.
Except for such charges, it is the intent of the City Council to supersede all previous special connection capital charges of any form or nature, replacing all such charges with a single wastewater GFC for any new connections or connection or service demand upgrades to the City sewer system at any location served by said system.
The GFC is to be used to finance new system growth and infill needs created by new or upgraded customers.
In the case of latecomer contracts entered into under chapter 35.91 RCW and the like, the GFC herein supersedes the amount to be collected from a party seeking connection. However, any GFC collected does not increase or decrease amounts the City may previously have contracted to reimburse to a third party at the time of allowing a connection, said parties to be paid by the City as provided under the pre-existing contract.
Hereinafter consistent with this ordinance, the Director of Public Works may make provision for reimbursement of third parties for facility construction costs, but hereafter, the amount of reimbursement per connection shall not exceed the GFC amount collected, which may change from year to year as the City Council may adjust the GFC.
Adjustments.The charge for a wastewater connection can be adjusted for facilities with water tap sizes two inches and greater when the tap size also accounts for fire flow and/or irrigation flow upon a showing of prior payment of similar charges, or for other sound considerations of fairness, as determined by the Wastewater Management Director.
To be eligible for such adjustment, a party required to pay a wastewater GFC must submit a written application to the Wastewater Management Director, together with any supporting materials and explanation. The Wastewater Management Director must receive such materials at the time of application for connection of the subject premises.
No adjustment may exceed the amount of the GFC applicable to the connection requested.
The wastewater GFC applies in addition to all other non-capital connection, permit or other fees required by this code or elsewhere, to parties seeking to connect premises who have not paid an equitable share of the cost of the City's sewer system as determined by the Wastewater Management Director.
The charge is due and payable in full at the time of application for connection or as otherwise ordered by the Director of Public Works.
The Wastewater Management Director may record appropriate notice with the county auditor concerning areas subject to the wastewater GFC in accord with RCW 65.08.170 and RCW 65.08.180, as applicable.
Date Passed: Monday, November 30, 2015
Effective Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016
ORD C35324 Section 2