by Nancy Covert
Rate increases for storm drain and sewage services in Steilacoom will be increased by six percent each, according to Mark Burlingame, Steilacoom’s Public Works Director.
The rate increases will go into effect in January, once council formally improves the change, he added.
Besides rate increases, council members also heard a presentation about the status of the Far West Drive substation. The Town is considering what to do about the aging facility.
The substation, Mr. Burlingame explained, has been in use since 1982.
“It’s the single point of (power) feed for the town,” he added. Consulting engineers, Lloyd Marquardt and Mark Schinman from Commonwealth Associates, presented three options for the electric utility’s future.
Choices include purchasing the station outright, bringing in a portable substation, or building a second substation to be used as a back up. The men said that the current substation was nearing the end of its useful life. In response to Mayor Ron Lucas’ question—the men gave the current substation a “D” grade.
Further studies are planned, but it would not be until after the first of the year before a decision about the substation’s status would be made, Mr. Burlingame added. It would be about seven years before any final decision would be made, if the town were to buy it at all.
Although the 2011-12 budget was approved at the October meeting, council members were asked that night to reconsider part of their decision that affected elimination of two staff positions.
After hearing and deliberating options on that topic, however, council voted 3-2, twice, against making any changes.