Port to have rates analyzed

— The Port of Sunnyside hasn’t raised their industrial wastewater facility rates in about 10 years.

That’s according to Executive Director Jay Hester, who gave an overview regarding the need to conduct a rate study at Monday’s Port Commissioner meeting.

He said the goal is to have an analysis completed to plan for 20 years.

A rate study will also help the Port secure bonds, he said.

There are two firms the Port is seeking information from. Both have been provided a request for qualifications.

Hester said, “We’re looking at a comprehensive plan.”

There are many benefits to conducting the rate study and analysis, he said.

The analysis will cover financials that include the Port’s debts and revenues, operational and upgrade costs, Hester said.

It will also assist the Port in determining the best use of capital improvement revenues, as well as contingency funds.

There are wastewater treatment facilities that have had to close due to a lack of forethought and rate increases.

“Every year we have growth and an increase in demand,” Hester said of the industrial wastewater treatment facility.

Rate increases are necessary to sustain operations and quality control, as well as Department of Ecology regulations.

“I like the idea,” Commissioner Tyler Schilperoort said.

The commissioners learned there is also a potential agreement with Jerry Hutchinson, who purchased land adjacent to a large parcel on Alexander Road owned by the Port.

Hutchinson has been removing Russian Olive trees from his property, Project Manager Travis Jensen told the commissioners.

With hopes of future development, Hutchinson approached the Port in hopes of sharing costs for the installation of a drainage pipe on the boundary of his property and the Port’s.

The overall cost is estimated at $60,000, 50 percent of which Hutchinson would pay, Jensen said.

The commissioners said they liked the idea but wanted to learn more.

Commissioner Arnold Martin asked if there’s been an engineering assessment completed to assure the drainage pipe would be suitable for the properties.

Jensen didn’t know, and the commissioners asked him to request Hutchinson’s attendance at the next regular meeting, Feb. 18.


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