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Utility taxes in Sunnyside raised

The Sunnyside City Council approved three resolutions at last night's council meeting that raised utility taxes.

Commencing with the first billing cycle in January 2008, water utility service rates will increase by 6 percent over the current rates.

A minimum monthly charge will be applicable, plus a minimum consumption rate.

The monthly charge on a 1" pipe increased from $15.95 to $16.21. A person or business using between 300 to 1,200 cubic feet of water will see their consumption rate rise from $1.42 to $1.51.

Sewer rates will also rise by 15 percent in each of the next three years.

Sunnyside City Manager Mark Kunkler told council bond covenants require the utility to set rates at a level that provides sufficient revenue to cover costs of operations and debt service. The 15 percent increase in 2008, 2009 and 2010 will allow the city to achieve this, he said.

Council also approved an increase in the Sunnyside ambulance utility fee. The utility fee can be raised by as much as 6 percent each year without council approval. Higher than that amount must be OK'd by council. The new increase is 11.2 percent, which will raise the current monthly fee Sunnyside residents pay by 38ยข, to $3.75.

Garbage collection fees were also increased at last night's meeting.

The new rate is 6 percent higher. The new fees will mean a residence with one can will pay $6.19 a month instead of $5.84. A household with three cans will now pay $8.31 a month and someone with six cans will pay $16.68.

All new fee increases will begin at the start of 2008.

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