SPOKANE, Wash. – A man who lives in Spokane County said he is paying twice as much for his water services as a city resident who is connected to the same water line just down the street.
The Spokane City-County line is on 53rd Avenue. On one side of the street are county residents. They are paying just over $23 a month for water services from the city. And if you cross the street, the city residents are only paying about $16 for the same water service.
Communications Director Brian Coddington confirmed there are some county residents who use city water services. He directed us to MapSpokane where you can see the city water service lines. City residents are in the yellow area of the map. When you zoom in, you can see just how many county residents use city water lines, which is about 4,900 customers.
So why are county residents paying more than city residents if they use the same water service? Marlene Feist with the city Public Works Department said that is because county residents do not pay city taxes and they are using a city service. She adds that county rates are also high because it costs more for water to reach those outer lying areas.
The Spokane City Council approves the water service rates. KREM 2 asked Feist if county residents in city service areas are represented in those discussions. She explained there is not a commissioner with the city or county to do this but the city council will accept testimony from all customers in those service areas.
KREM 2 was able to verify that yes, the city delivers water to city and some county residents. We also verified that county residents are charged more because they do not pay city taxes. Finally, we also verified when the city council adjusts its water rates, it will accept testimony from its county customers.
Spokane City Communication Director Brian Coddington
Public Works Department Communications Manager Marlene Feist