As previously reported in the Newsletter, the District was part of a coalition of water/sewer districts with service areas in King County that resisted an attempt by King County to impose a rental charge on the use of County rights of way by water and sewer utility districts. Following a hearing on July 27th, King County Superior Judge Samuel Chung ruled that the County lacks the legal authority to compel the districts to pay the rental fee as a condition of locating water and sewer facilities in King County roadways. King County had argued that the authority to charge rent was inherent in its authority to manage the right of way.
The early calculations from the County showed that the District’s combined water and sewer rental charge would have been in the neighborhood of $600,000 per year. This would have created a significant cost burden on the relatively small group of rate payers with property in unincorporated King County connected to the water and/or sewer systems.
At the present time, it is unknown whether King County will seek appellate court review of Judge Chung’s ruling.
[This topic was previously discussed in January/February 2018 Newsletter (Issue #173)]