North Bend Sewer Rate Adjustment Explained, Feb. 28

City of North Bend release – Before Measure 6-176 in May 2020, North Bend City Council regularly adjusted sewer rates, typically increasing by 25% every 5-7 years. However, with Measure 6-176 in place, which mandates voter approval for rate changes, our ability to adjust rates was restricted. Despite this, over the past five years, North Bend managed a total increase of nearly 20%, starting from a relatively low base. A rate study in 2011 suggested a flat residential rate of $42/month, but North Bend opted for $30/month. If the City had implemented a 25% increase in 2018, North Bend’s current rate would be $46.70 instead of the current $35.53/month per residence. Although the impact of the charter amendment has been softened, North Bend’s rates remain lower than needed, though not critically so. Looking ahead, our treatment system is 33 years old and nearing capacity by 2039. Coos Bay’s $27 million plant upgrade, expected to reach $42 million by 2039, underscores the looming expenses. Our collection system, averaging 59 years old, requires maintenance, with an estimated annual cost of $500,000 over the next five years. While a federal grant helps, replacement costs suggest significant long-term expenses. To provide transparency, we’ve included a comparative rate schedule and a 5-year capital improvement plan. In an upcoming City Council work session, staff will detail the financial impacts of investing $1.6 million annually in necessary improvements. Stay tuned for a comprehensive presentation on both short and long-term effects and the consideration of a ballot initiative to increase sewerage rates. Your understanding and support are invaluable as we navigate these vital infrastructure decisions together. More Information… Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan: 2023-2028 Conveyance System ( Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan: 2023-2028 Equipment Replacement ( Comparison of Sewer Rates: Single Family Residential, Based upon 670 cubic feet (168 gallons per day) consumption – Revised by North Bend – January 2024 (

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