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Higher industrial wastewater treatment fees included in Port of Sunnyside's 2013 budget

Industrial wastewater treatment will cost a bit more in 2013 than it did in 2012, and the Port of Sunnyside commissioners this past Tuesday passed the port district's 2013 budget during a meeting that included the industrial wastewater treatment fund hearing.

The industrial wastewater treatment rate increase will be 3 percent, which will generate about $109,000 in additional revenue in 2013.

The port's general fund budget will rise approximately 57 percent in 2013 from just more than $1.58 million to nearly $2.49 million.

The revenue generated from land sales is a contributing factor for the increased budget. The port district projects land sales will increase by more than $900,000. The Port of Sunnyside expects to receive approximately $300,000 more in 2013 in loans and grants than it did in 2012.

The 2013 expenditures are expected to match the nearly $2.49 million in revenues because of increases in the Port of Sunnyside's debt obligations.

The port is expecting to purchase land, namely the former Carnation plant, increasing the debt on land purchase loans from $100,000 to $925,000.

Almost every other expenditure is expected to remain nearly the same for 2013 as it was in 2012.

Payroll and benefits are expected to see a 4 percent decrease due in part to nearly $9,000 less spent on salaries.

The Port of Sunnyside's beginning unrestricted cash on hand is $4.22 million. The port district expects to spend nearly $6.75 million total, including its monies from its general fund and its wastewater fund. The port anticipates ending 2013 with $4.22 million in reserve.

The commissioners also approved rate increases for industries discharging industrial wastewater to the port's industrial wastewater treatment plant.

The port's attorney, Steve Winfree, said the Port of Sunnyside annually holds a hearing regarding the rates charged to industries.

The port also holds meetings with industry leaders, providing the various companies the opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns, said Winfree.

Port of Sunnyside Engineer Bob Farrell said the industry leaders did not express any concerns during the meeting held in October.

During Tuesday's hearing there weren't any industry representatives present to voice any concerns.

Commissioner Jeff Matson took that as a good sign, stating he believes the companies served by the Port of Sunnyside trust the port. "We've established what I believe is good rapport," he said.

All wastewater delivered to the wastewater treatment plant will be assessed an operating rate of approximately $1.77 per cubic feet after Jan. 1, 2013.

The industries will also be assessed a biochemical oxygen demand rate of just under 14 cents per pound, a total suspended solids rate of just more than 13 cents per pound, a nitrogen rate of approximately 11 cents per pound, an operating rate of $1.62 per discharged nitrogen pound for the sequencing batch reactor, long term debt rates of 13 cents per pound of chloride and $1.08 per pound of nitrogen for the sequencing batch reactor, a long term debt rate of just more than 6 cents per pound of solids processed in the dewatering facility and a wetland debt rate of 88 cents per 100 cubic feet of contracted capacity.

Because different industries require contracts for the type of wastewater discharged, the industries are assessed differently. JM Eagle, for example, discharges mostly distilled water, according to Executive Director Amber Hansen. Because there are fewer solids included in the water, she said the company's estimated 2013 charges are just more than $3,300.

It's estimated a larger fruit processor like Valley Processing will pay just more than $335,000 in 2013.

The Port of Sunnyside estimates the rate changes will account for a revenue increase of just more than $109,000 during 2013.

The Port of Sunnyside commissioners approved both the rate increases and the budget for 2013 by a 3-0 vote.

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