PORT ORCHARD — Residents of unincorporated Kitsap County will see their annual stormwater fees rise from $69.80 to $73.50 next year, with additional increases to follow for the next five years. The additional fees will allow the county’s Surface and Stormwater Management Program to reduce flooding in more areas, upgrade more stormwater systems and attack more sources of pollution, according to program manager Chris May.
“We have not raised fees since 2009,” said May, noting that his utility’s costs have gone up, in part because of increasing state and federal regulations regarding stormwater. But the higher fees also will allow the program to do more, doubling work on major stormwater projects from up to two each year to up to five each year, he said. The increased fees would increase the annual capital budget from $880,000 to $2 million or more.
The county commissioners Monday night approved the new fee of $73.50 for 2013, a 5.3 percent increase for single-family homes. That will be followed by hikes to $78 in 2014, $82 in 2015, $86.50 in 2016, $91 in 2017 and $96 in 2018. May said the rates will likely stay below the cities in Kitsap County. He provided a table showing approximate fees of $146 for Bainbridge Island, $104 for Bremerton, $98 for Poulsbo and $84 for Port Orchard.