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Port of Sunnyside officials raise taxes, rates

Port of Sunnyside commissioners last week approved four resolutions that will change rates paid by property owners within the port district and industries served by its wastewater treatment facility.

The commissioners approved a 1 percent increase in ad valorem property taxes, which is an increase of just more than $5,000 to the Port of Sunnyside's budget.

Property taxes, said Port of Sunnyside Director Amber Hansen, account for about 10 percent of the port's budget.

She said property taxes for property within the Port of Sunnyside boundaries amount to just more than 30 cents per $1,000 assessed value.

Also approved at a meeting of the Port of Sunnyside commissioners last week were changes to the wastewater treatment rates.

The Port of Sunnyside anticipates an increase of about $202,700 to its budget because of rate changes made.

Darigold is the port's largest user. The Port of Sunnyside calculated about 21.7 million cubic feet of wastewater was discharged by the plant through Sept. 30, 2010. The volume is estimated to increase and with increases in wastewater volume the amount of oxygen necessary for the microorganisms in the port's lagoon system will be increased, as will a number of other factors for the treatment of the wastewater.

Darigold, as an example, is projected to pay about $2.6 million to the Port of Sunnyside in 2011 for wastewater treatment services.

"Wastwater treatment is paid for by the industries and there are 11 charges associated with that cost," explained Hansen.

The changes to the costs associated with wastewater treatment will increase Darigold's bill by just more than $140,000 next year.

Port of Sunnyside commissioners adopted the resolutions regarding all changes presented to them by Finance Officer Carol Carter.

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