Letter to the Editor:
In January of 2012, the Shoreline Water District significantly increased the rates charged for water to our schools/facilities in their service area, specifically Shorecrest, Kellogg, Ridgecrest, Briarcrest, Brookside, Aldercrest, North City, Cedarbrook, Transportation and the Warehouse/Central Kitchen.
Despite numerous attempts to get justification for these unprecedented increases, no reasonable explanation was provided. When asked about an appeal process, the Water District said there was not one. As a result, the School District included a letter of protest with each water bill paid in 2012.
The attached spreadsheet for the calendar year of 2012 shows the exorbitant charges imposed by the Shoreline Water District. As you can see, the rates being charged are not comparable to the other two water districts that serve the school district.
Last year’s charges reflect an increase of 85 percent over the previous year, resulting in rates now being more than twice that of the other water districts. Specifically, the total cost per ccf (100 cubic feet or 748 gallons) from Seattle Public Utilities and Lake Forest Park Water District was $8.92 and $8.82, respectively. For Shoreline Water the total cost was $19.68 per ccf. And last week, we were notified that the rates would be increasing yet again in 2013.
Obviously, the school district has no choice where it buys its water for schools and facilities, and unlike commercial businesses, it has no ability to pass increased costs on to its customers. Unfortunately, this situation has already begun to undermine our ability to care for school grounds, buildings and facilities, and more importantly, it will erode our ability to provide programs and services to the children in our schools.
We do not believe these rates are ethical or justified, and they are not sustainable for our already under-funded schools.
Shoreline School Board
Debi Ehrlichman, President
Mike Jacobs, Vice President
Dick Nicholson, Director
Dick Potter, Director
David Wilson, Director
Sue Walker, Superintendent
Editor's note: The board shared an analysis of the District's water rates, attached here as a pdf.