Kent residents will pay more for water starting April 1

The Kent City Council approved an increase in storm-drainage rates to help pay for capital improvement projects to control flooding. Shown above is water from Mill Creek flooding 76th Avenue South in Kent on Nov. 7.

The Kent City Council approved an increase in storm-drainage rates to help pay for capital improvement projects to control flooding. Shown above is water from Mill Creek flooding 76th Avenue South in Kent on Nov. 7.

Come April, Kent residents are going to face higher water and storm-drainage bills.

The Kent City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday night to increase the basic water rate and the storm-drainage rate starting April 1.

Household customers will pay about $42 more per year because of the new water and drainage rates, said Bob Nachlinger, city finance director.

Water rates will jump about $14 per year per customer. The storm-drainage rates would jump about $28 per year for each customer.

City staff recommended the water-rate increase to help the city pay for the operation, maintenance, replacement and expansion of the city water system as required by federal and state regulations for fire codes and health standards. The expansion of the system also would enable the city to potentially sell excess water to neighboring jurisdictions.

City staff said storm-drainage rates need to go up to help pay for capital-improvement projects to the water system. The projects are designed to meet the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued each year by the state Department of Ecology. The drainage-rate increase also will help pay for $25 million of repairs to Green River levees in the city to help control flooding.

City staff suggested making the rate changes effective Jan. 1, but the Council opted to delay the change to April 1.

“We wanted to defer the the fees until April to minimize the impact on residents (due to the downturn of the economy),” Councilwoman Deborah Ranniger said prior to the vote.

Ranniger, Council President Debbie Raplee, Ron Harmon and Les Thomas voted in favor of the utility-rate increase starting in April.

Tim Clark, Elizabeth Albertson and Jamie Danielson opposed the ordinance because they wanted the increase to start Jan. 1 in order to bring revenue in sooner so work could start on the water and storm-drainage system projects.

“It’s about the health and welfare of the community,” Clark said. “I’m not happy with the delay. I think it will hurt us.”

Larry Blanchard, city public works director, said despite the three-month delay in the rate increases, the city should be able to meet the August deadlines to complete water system projects in order to be in compliance with federal and state regulations.

“But we can only do the design at this point until we collect additional revenue,” Blanchard said of the rate-increase delay until April.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Kent Police use drone, K-9 unit to capture assault suspect

Man had fled after fight with security guard at apartment complex along SE Kent-Kangley Road

Jail bars. File photo
Renton man convicted in 2018 Des Moines homicide

Jurors found 28-year-old Yourhighness Jeramiah Bolar of Renton guilty of two felony charges.

One of two victims identified in fiery Kent crash

Kristen Anne Meyers, 53, died in May 11 crash on West Hill, according to medical examiner

City-owned ShoWare Center in Kent loses $742,675 in 2023

Losses lower than projected but expenses continue to exceed revenue at 6,200-seat arena

Kent firefighters extinguish two fires on the same morning | Photos

Friday, May 17 at apartment leasing office in the Valley and at a vacant East Hill house

Courtesy Photo, City of Kent
City of Kent population drops by 1,051 in 2023 compared to 2022

Decline similar to many cities of 50,000 or more across the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau

Kent Police Blotter: April 25 to May 8

Incidents include burglaries, robberies, shootings

Rape charges dismissed against former Kent school bus driver

Prosecutors decide they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt due to medical tests

Feds indict 9 South King County residents on drug trafficking charges

Those accused from Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Enumclaw

A screenshot of King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn speaking about a proposed amendment for the proposed $20 minimum wage ordinance. (Screenshot)
King County approves $20.29 minimum wage for unincorporated areas

Councilmember Reagan Dunn and more than a dozen business owners argued tips and health care expenses should be a part of the new wage. The council passed the ordinance without the amendment.

Dave Upthegrove. COURTESY PHOTO
Upthegrove one of seven candidates for state lands commissioner

His King County Council member’s district includes part of Kent

COURTESY PHOTO, King County Elections
Candidates file for Kent-area races for Congress, Legislature

Incumbents face challengers in two Congressional contests and four state House races