Chapter 15.06
ASSESSMENTS, RATES, FEES AND CHARGES

Sections:

15.06.010    PURPOSE.

15.06.015    ASSESSMENTS, RATES, FEES AND CHARGES - ESTABLISHED.

15.06.020    SERVICE CONNECTION AND EXPANSION FEES AND CHARGES.

15.06.025    SEWER CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAM.

15.06.030    RATES - WATER.

15.06.040    RATES - WASTEWATER.

15.06.050    RATES - STORMWATER.

15.06.060    MISCELLANEOUS FEES AND CHARGES.

15.06.010 PURPOSE.

This chapter provides for the establishment of fees, rates, and other charges for connection to or utilization of the utility system, for providing utility service, administration and maintenance of utility accounts, and for the operation, maintenance, repair, and improvements of the utility system. Fees, rates, and other service charges shall include, but not be limited to, front footage fees, general facility fees, connection charges, utility service rates, account maintenance charges, plan check, and system development fees and charges. All fees, rates, and charges for service outside the City limits will be assessed at a charge of one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the City rate for wastewater and one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the City rate for water. (Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4729, Reaffirmed, 11/30/2000; Ord. 4675, Amended, 11/30/1999; Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)

15.06.015 ASSESSMENTS, RATES, FEES AND CHARGES - ESTABLISHED.

(a)    Assessments, rates, fees, and charges for services relating to the Department for water, wastewater, stormwater utilities, and other related services are on file with the City Clerk and posted on the City of Bremerton’s website. See Chapter 3.01 BMC for the link to the City of Bremerton’s website for rates and fees.

(b)    Commencing on January 1, 2018, and on January 1st of each successive year thereafter, the established utility rates, fees and charges identified in Chapter 3.01 BMC, not otherwise adjusted by the City Council during the previous six (6) month period, shall automatically be adjusted as follows:

(1)    The utility GFCs shall be adjusted upward to the nearest dollar based upon the most current Seattle Construction Index (SCI); and

(2)    All other utility rates, fees and charges shall be adjusted upward to the nearest dollar based on the most current Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, Seattle. (Ord. 5321 §5, 2017: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 5131 §1, 2010: Ord. 5103 §3, 2010; Ord. 5070 §1, 2008; Ord. 5051 §1 (Exh. A), 2008; Ord. 5030 §1 (Exh. A), 2007; Ord. 5026 §2 (Exh. A), 2007; Ord. 4990 §1 (Exh. A), 2006; Ord. 4961 §1 (Exh. A), 2005; Ord. 4956 §1 (Exh. A), 2005; Ord. 4909 §§5, 7, 2004; Ord. 4881 §1, 2003; Ord. 4827, Amended, 11/29/2002; Ord. 4794, Amended, 05/07/2002; Ord. 4766, Amended, 08/24/2001; Ord. 4735, Reaffirmed, 11/30/2000; Ord. 4729, Reaffirmed, 11/30/2000; Ord. 4685, Amended, 12/28/1999; Ord. 4675, Added, 11/30/1999)

15.06.020 SERVICE CONNECTION AND EXPANSION FEES AND CHARGES.

(a)    General Facility Charge.

(1)    A general facility charge (GFC) shall be charged on all new or expanded service connections to the utility system (water, wastewater, and stormwater). Existing approved connections for water and wastewater within the system shall be considered to have paid their proportionate share of the GFC for existing use. Surface area impact for stormwater as of October 7, 2004, shall also be considered to have paid their proportionate share of GFC for existing use.

(2)    The utility GFCs shall be adjusted annually as set forth in BMC 15.06.015 in addition to any other adjustments that may be made by the City Council. GFCs shall not vest. Any vesting requirements set forth in the Bremerton Municipal Code, including, but not limited to, BMC 20.12.170, do not apply to utility GFCs. GFCs shall be paid at the current rate in effect at the time payment is made.

(3)    Parcels and/or facilities which have had utility services but have been inactive can request to have the inactive account reactivated. When the account is restored and/or expanded, the GFCs shall only be charged for the additional demand placed on the water, wastewater, or stormwater facilities. All appropriate GFCs (water/wastewater/stormwater) will need to be paid to reactivate the services.

(4)    Parcels and/or facilities in which no utility services are present shall be defined as new undeveloped parcels and shall receive no credits and shall pay all applicable assessments, rates, fees, and charges.

(5)    Utility services are considered to be present if a water service or a sewer lateral is physically in place and historically served that parcel. Parcels that have utility services currently present, but their facilities have been removed and new facilities constructed, will not have to pay additional GFCs, unless the meter size is increased.

(6)    Change of meter size for the parcel and/or facility, or change of IHSU, which is a reduction in GFCs will not be refunded or credited.

(7)    Change of meter size for the parcel and/or facility which is an increase of GFCs will require the customer to pay for the additional GFCs before work is performed. Similarly, an increase in surface area impact for stormwater shall require the customer to pay the net increase in IHSU before work is performed.

(8)    The calculation of the GFC for stormwater shall be based on the total number of IHSUs added to the parcels.

(9)    The calculation of the GFC for water shall be based on the meter size to be installed for a new or expanded water service.

(10)    The calculation of the GFC for wastewater shall be based on the meter size to be installed for the new or expanded water service.

(11)    The calculation of GFCs for stormwater shall be based on the number of impervious/hard surface units (IHSUs) as defined in BMC 15.01.020. However, all single-family residential parcels as defined in BMC 15.01.020 shall be one (1) IHSU.

(12)    All GFCs shall be assessed and paid at the time of execution of the utility service agreement, prior to making any water, sewer, or storm service connection, and shall be in addition to rates and other fees, assessments, and charges established for utility service.

(13)    Payment of GFC fees for improvements common to multiple parcels on a plat may be proportionally allocated among those parcels with payment deferred as approved by the Director at his or her discretion through a written agreement with the customer. Any deferment shall be in a written agreement recorded on the property. The agreement shall require that all deferred GFCs and related fees and costs be paid prior to issuance of building permits. In consideration for the deferral, the customer shall pay the current GFC in effect at the time of payment, as set forth in BMC 15.06.015, as well as any outstanding recording fees and other fees and costs related to the deferral agreement.

(b)    Connection/Inspection Fee. A connection/inspection fee shall be charged for all service connections to the utility system. Additional fees may be charged if a reinspection is required as a result of the property owner/developer’s failure to comply with the correction notice from a prior inspection, inaccessibility of facilities for scheduled inspections, or an unsafe site. The connection/inspection fee shall be paid at the time of execution of the utility service agreement, prior to making any water, sewer, or storm service connection.

(c)    Capital Reserves. The general facility funds collected under this chapter shall be deposited in the Utilities Capital Reserve Fund and used only for utility system capital improvements. (Ord. 5376 §5, 2019: Ord. 5371 §1, 2019: Ord. 5321 §6, 2017: Ord. 5288 §2, 2015: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4909 §6, 2004; Ord. 4729, Reaffirmed, 11/30/2000; Ord. 4675, Amended, 11/30/1000; Ord. 4512 §3, 1995; Ord. 4496 §2, 1995; Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)

15.06.025 SEWER CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAM.

(a)    Property owners who meet the requirements of this section may qualify for a loan known as a sewer conservation loan pursuant to RCW 35.67.360. A sewer conservation loan under this section is a loan from the City to a property for all, or a portion, of the GFC established under BMC 15.06.020 and any inspection fees related to connection to the City’s wastewater system. The principal amount of the loan authorized by this section shall not exceed the amount of the GFC, together with inspection fees.

(b)    In order for a property owner to qualify for a loan under this section, the property to which the connection is to be made must be:

(1)    Within the City’s wastewater system;

(2)    A developed lot with an existing single-family home; and

(3)    Served by a septic system that has been designated as a failed septic system by the Kitsap Public Health District.

(c)    In order to qualify for a loan under this section, the property owner must:

(1)    Complete a sewer conservation loan application;

(2)    Pay the sewer conservation loan application fee;

(3)    Have no utility shut-offs within the thirty-six (36) months prior to the date of the sewer conservation loan application;

(4)    Execute a promissory note and deed of trust under the terms set out in this section;

(5)    Pay the recording fee to record the deed of trust; and

(6)    If outside City limits, agree not to protest any annexation petition that includes the property being connected to the City’s wastewater system and grant the City a limited power of attorney to include consent to the annexation of said property as part of any notice of intent or petition for annexation presented to the City.

(d)    The terms of the loan shall be as follows:

(1)    The loan will be structured as a simple promissory note.

(2)    The term of the note shall not exceed five (5) years, commencing on the date the property owner executes the promissory note.

(3)    The note will bear interest at the rate which is based on the City’s current investment yield at the time of the loan, plus a two percent (2%) margin to cover administrative costs and interest rate fluctuations over the loan period.

(4)    The loan will be secured by a deed of trust, or such other instrument as may be acceptable to the City Finance Director and City Attorney.

(5)    The note shall provide for acceleration of the principal upon default in any payment. In the event of default, the City shall have all available remedies, including, but not limited to, foreclosure of its interest in the property, notification of credit bureaus, use of collection agencies, and terminating service.

(6)    Loan principal and interest charges will be amortized and billed by the City and due monthly. The monthly payment will be no lower than fifty dollars ($50.00). Appropriate penalties may be imposed by the City for delinquent accounts.

(7)    There shall be no penalty for prepayment.

(8)    The note will contain a due on sale clause which provides for payment in full of all outstanding principal and interest upon sale of the property. Loans shall be limited by available funds. The amount of available funds shall be at the discretion of the City Council and shall be determined periodically by City Council motion, resolution, or ordinance. All funds used for loan purposes shall be derived from operating revenues from the sale of sewer services. (Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 5211 §1, 2013)

15.06.030 RATES - WATER.

(a)    Retail Water Rates. A general retail water rate shall be assessed all users of the water system. A property owner becomes a customer/user of the water system at the closing of the sale of the property and entering into an agreement by signing the utility billing owner/tenant change form. The retail rate shall be calculated on a periodic billing with a zero usage charge based on meter size and a commodity charge computed to the nearest HCF.

(1)    Sprinkler and Fire Protection Service. The Department shall levy a general fire service charge to users of the utility water system for fire service provided. The fire service rate shall be billed on a periodic billing and shall be based on the assembly size installed.

Water used for purposes other than extinguishing fires through a fire service connection shall be charged at a rate not less than double the domestic rate provided by this chapter.

(2)    Temporary/Construction Water Meters. Persons desiring temporary water service from a fire hydrant, hose connection, or meter for the purposes of construction, special events, or other activities that are limited in duration shall make application to the Department on the form provided and make a deposit established for temporary/construction water meters. A deposit based on meter size shall be assessed for temporary/construction water meters. The deposit may be retained by the City to recover damage, loss, or any misuse of the water meter.

Temporary/construction water meters shall be limited to twelve (12) month duration. The twelve (12) month limitation allows for billing meter calibration and yearly testing of backflow prevention devices. If the applicant requires a temporary/construction water meter for longer than twelve (12) months, the applicant must reapply.

Access to the temporary/construction meter must be available to the department to inspect and read at any reasonable time.

The rate shall be calculated on a periodic billing with a minimum service charge based on the water meter size and a commodity charge computed to the nearest HCF.

(b)    Wholesale Water Service. The Department may sell water to water districts or other public agencies. Such service shall be through a metered wholesale water usage contract, under such terms and under such conditions as shall be deemed fair and equitable by the City. All wholesale water contracts shall be subject to Mayoral approval and City Council authorization. (Ord. 5298 §1, 2016: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4729, Reaffirmed, 11/30/2000; Ord. 4675, Amended, 11/30/1999; Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)

15.06.040 RATES - WASTEWATER.

(a)    Retail Wastewater Rates. A general retail wastewater rate shall be assessed of all users of the wastewater system. A property owner becomes a customer/user of the wastewater system at the closing of the sale of the property and entering into an agreement by signing the utility billing owner/tenant change form. The retail rate shall be calculated on a periodic billing with a zero usage fixed fee service charge and a commodity charge computed to the nearest HCF.

The retail rate shall be based on flow and strength of sewage discharged by the user of the system.

Flow shall be determined by the metered amount of domestic water usage.

Flows for summer usage for single-family, duplex, and multifamily residential customers shall be determined based on the previous six (6) month average winter domestic water usage by the customer, provided the account was active for at least two (2) billing periods of the preceding six (6) months. The calculation period shall be determined by the Department based on usage and billing cycles. In no case shall this calculation for summer usage result in a volume less than two and one-half (2.5) HCF per month.

In the event the customer is not connected to a City water system that utilizes a domestic water meter, the flow shall be determined by the Department based on the average flow of the like customer class.

Strength shall be determined by the loadings discharged by the customer and shall be segregated into like customer classes based on their respective sewage strengths.

(b)    Multiple Residential/Commercial Units on Single Water Meter. Any commercial account that has residential living units above the commercial business and/or multiple business suites/buildings served by a single water meter will be assessed a monthly flat fee based on the total number of units at that location. The commercial account discharge strength will determine the sewer rate level.

(c)    Commercial or Industrial Out of Class Discharge. Any commercial or industrial account that is connected to the wastewater system and the amount of wastewater discharged or the strength of the wastewater discharge for that property is different than those defined by the current billing rates will need to be assessed on an individual basis. The assessment will be determined and approved by the Department and a special billing rate will be established for that business. (Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 5131 §3, 2010: Ord. 5054, Amended, 08/20/2008; Ord. 4766, Amended, 08/24/2001; Ord. 4729, Reaffirmed, 11/30/2000; Ord. 4675, Amended, 11/30/1999; Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)

15.06.050 RATES - STORMWATER.

(a)    Surface Drainage/Stormwater Rates. A general retail stormwater rate shall be assessed on all property within the City.

Rates shall be determined by the approximate amount of impervious hard surface area of developed parcel, including publicly owned property and right-of-way.

Impervious surface, measured in equivalent impervious hard surface units (IHSUs) shall be determined for each individually developed property, except single-family or duplex uses which shall be assigned the minimum rate.

Payment of a surface drainage/stormwater rate does not guaranty that property subject to the charges will always or at any time be free from stormwater flooding or flood damage or that stormwater systems capable of handling all stormwater events can be cost effectively operated or maintained.

(b)    Improper Stormwater Inflow to Wastewater System. A rate shall be assessed on all property owners who have an improper stormwater discharge to the wastewater system pursuant to the assessments, rates, fees, and charges set forth in this chapter established for stormwater by City Council ordinance.

Rates shall be based upon the approximate amount of impervious hard surface area of the property. The impervious surface area, measured in equivalent impervious hard surface units (IHSUs), shall be that used for the stormwater rates elsewhere in this chapter.

Payment of the improper stormwater surcharge shall be terminated when the property has disconnected all sources of the improper stormwater inflow from the wastewater system.

The service rate for maintaining an improper stormwater inflow connection to the wastewater system will be identified on the utility billing statement as "stormwater facilities impact" fee.

(c)    Stormwater rate classes are as follows:

(1)    Residential.

(i)    Stormwater I. The basic stormwater service rate.

(ii)    Stormwater II. This rate consists of the basic stormwater fee, plus fifty percent (50%) of the current stormwater fee as the "stormwater facilities impact" fee. This class may have a driveway drain of not more than four hundred (400) square feet of impervious surface draining into the wastewater system and no other improper connection to the wastewater system.

(iii)    Stormwater III. This rate consists of the basic stormwater fee, plus one hundred percent (100%) of the current stormwater fee as the "stormwater facilities impact" fee. This class has a driveway drain with more than four hundred (400) square feet of impervious surface draining into the wastewater system and/or more than one (1) improper connection to the wastewater system.

(2)    Commercial.

(i)    Commercial I Stormwater. The basic commercial stormwater fee.

(ii)    Commercial II Stormwater. The basic stormwater fee, plus fifty percent (50%) of the current stormwater fee as the surcharge. This class may have no more than four hundred (400) square feet of impervious surface where stormwater runoff is collected by a roof drain, parking lot drain, driveway drain or any other device that conveys this runoff into the wastewater system. This does not include stormwater runoff that is collected from under fueling station canopies since these areas are required to be connected to the wastewater system. However, roof runoff from the canopy is not allowed to be connected to the wastewater system. This class may not have more than one (1) improper connection to the wastewater system.

(iii)    Commercial III Stormwater. The basic stormwater fee, plus one hundred percent (100%) of the current stormwater fee as the "stormwater facilities impact" fee. This class has more than four hundred (400) square feet of impervious surface where stormwater runoff is collected by a roof drain, parking lot drain, driveway drain or any other device that conveys this runoff into the wastewater system. This does not include stormwater runoff that is collected from under fueling station canopies since these areas are required to be connected to the wastewater system. However, roof runoff from the canopy is not allowed to be connected to the wastewater system.

(d)    Rate Adjustments. Rate adjustments for water quantity and water quality pursuant to the assessments, rates, fees, and charges set forth in this chapter will be applied to all multifamily (three (3) or more units), commercial, and industrial development which provide for the installation of on-site water quality and quantity improvements which includes pervious surfaces or any other improvements that meet all Engineering Design and Construction Standards. Eligibility will require the treatment and reduction of the amount of stormwater discharges prior to entry into the stormwater system and the reduction of the amount of stormwater discharges into the stormwater system. This stormwater quality and quantity mitigation shall be required to demonstrate compliance with Minimum Requirement No. 5, Minimum Requirement No. 7, Minimum Requirement No. 8 and the LID Performance Standards as required by the SWMMWW. All new development will be required to install water quality and quantity improvements prior to connection to the stormwater system and will receive the rate adjustment upon successful completion of the installation. For purposes of the rate adjustment, the amounts of discharge shall be segregated into like customer classes based on their respective stormwater discharge quantity and/or discharge quality. Application for building permits or fill/grade permits must include standard stormwater quality and quantity improvement plans.

The facts set forth in this subsection shall apply only if the on-site or other facility that has received an adjustment in its rates is maintained and operated in accord with this chapter and the Engineering Design and Construction Standards applicable at the time of billing. In the event that the Director determines that the system is not properly operated and maintained, the rate reduction shall be discontinued until deficiencies are corrected in addition to other remedies provided in this chapter.

(e)    Exempt Properties.

(1)    All parcels of property that are undeveloped.

(2)    All public rights-of-way.

(f)    Public School District Properties. Parcels owned or leased by public school districts which provide activities which directly benefit the surface and stormwater management program. The activities may include: curriculum specific to the issues and problems of surface and stormwater management and student activities in the community to expose students to the efforts required to restore, monitor, or enhance the surface and stormwater management system. Pursuant to RCW 35.92.021, the amount of the service charge shall be determined by the Director, based upon the cost of the activities to the school district, but not to exceed the value of the activity to the stormwater management program. Determination of which activities qualify for the stormwater management service charge reduction will be made by the Director. Reductions in stormwater management service charges will only be granted to school districts which provide programs that have been evaluated by the Director. The service charge adjustment for the school activity may be applied to any parcel in the stormwater system service area which is owned or operated by the school district. In order to remain eligible for the rates, the applicant shall be required to reapply every year and submit the request to the Department.

(g)    Implementation Schedule for Annexed Properties. When annexed to the City, all multiple-family and commercial properties with two (2) or more IHSUs will receive the rate adjustments described above per IHSU for two (2) years from the date of annexation; provided, the property owner submits engineering plans and specifications for on-site stormwater quantity and quality improvements for their property within nine (9) months of annexation, and said plans are approved by the Department according to Engineering Design and Construction Standards. Failure to comply with any of the aforementioned provisions will result in these accounts being charged at the retail stormwater rate beginning two (2) years from annexation. (Ord. 5310 §3, 2016: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 5026 §3, 2007: Ord. 4734, Reaffirmed; 11/30/2000; Ord. 4729, Reaffirmed; 11/30/2000; Ord. 4684, Amended, 12/28/1999; Ord. 4675, Amended, 11/30/1999; Ord. 4496 §3, 1995; Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4442 §5, 1993)

15.06.060 MISCELLANEOUS FEES AND CHARGES.

The Department shall set fees and charges to recover its administrative and operations expenses related to the services set forth herein.

(a)    Low-Income Senior Citizens and Low-Income Disabled Citizens. Only single-family residential accounts are eligible for the rates described in this section. To qualify for the low-income senior citizen rate, the individual shall meet the criteria established by RCW 74.38.070. To qualify for the low-income disabled citizen rate, the individual shall meet the criteria established by RCW 46.19.010 or 74.18.020(4) and 70.164.020(4). In order to remain eligible for these rates, the applicant shall be required to reapply each year with the Department.

(b)    Service Fee - Field. A service fee shall be charged for all service calls to the owner’s premises. Service calls shall include, but not be limited to, turn-on/turn-off of water services as a result of delinquent payment of accounts, special needs requests for after-hours turn-on/turn-off of water for customer maintenance, after hours utility location requests, and repeat service calls during normal work hours. The service fee shall be added to the regular utility bill.

After hours, weekend, and holiday service requests shall require acknowledgment by signature of the requesting party on the form which identifies the additional service and fee provided by the service specialist. The service fee shall be added to the regular utility bill.

A fee shall be levied in the event it is necessary to remove and restore surface improvements, including but not limited to asphalt concrete and concrete streets and sidewalks, in order to install a service connection or other utility improvements.

(c)    Service Fee - Office. A service fee shall be charged for all account maintenance, including, but not limited to, activation and discontinuation of the utility account, changes in address, designated agents, duplicate billing, and property liens. The service fee shall be added to the regular utility bill.

(d)    Delinquency Charge. A delinquency charge of one percent (1%) per month shall be added to the unpaid balance of each and every utility bill which is not paid on or before such bill becomes delinquent.

(e)    Cross-Connection Control Inspections. The Department shall charge a fee for inspection, reinspection, additional mail notices, or door notices of backflow prevention devices. The service fee shall be added to the regular utility bill.

(f)    Fire Hydrant Services. The Department may enter into agreements with owners of private fire systems for hydrant repairs and maintenance.

(g)    Grinder Pump Surcharge. The Department may enter into agreements to service customers with individual grinder pumps. An individual service charge shall be assessed to the customer for the City’s operation and maintenance of these pumps as set forth in Chapter 3.01 BMC.

(h)    Abatement Charges. All costs associated with the City’s repair of private systems, including engineering, administration, materials, equipment, labor, and contracted services. (Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 5103 §2, 2010: Ord. 4729, Reaffirmed, 11/30/2000; Ord. 4675, Amended, 11/30/1999; Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)