Langley approves utility rate increases

Water and stormwater rates will increase by 6 percent, and sewer will go up by 8 percent.

Langley city council members unanimously approved utility rate increases for 2021.

During a meeting Monday, the council increased water rates by 6 percent, sewer rates by 8 percent and stormwater rates by 6 percent.

The hikes go into effect with the start of the new year.

“Our greatest opportunity for holding back future rate increases is going to be additional connections,” said Mayor Tim Callison said.

“That’s the only way that we’re ever going to flatten this curve,” he said.

No residents spoke against next year’s rate increases during two public hearings on the proposal.

Last month, Utilities Supervisor Randi Perry presented data to the council showing what the utility rate increases would be in the event that a $4-million bond voters approved last year had not passed.

Without the bond, Langley residents would have seen a 43 percent increase in one of its utility rates, she explained.

Under Ordinance 1073, the dollar amount of the decrease of the actual levy amount from the previous year shall be $26,834, which is a $.08 decrease from the previous year.

Council member Craig Cyr said it was difficult to approve the rate hikes, but that it would have been much harder to approve without Ordinance 1073.

“It could be interpreted that this is a steep increase of utility rates,” Cyr said. “Of course, 43 percent is certainly steep. Eight percent is less steep.”

Cyr said that he would have a hard time voting for another increase in utility rates if it is proposed again next year.