As reported in the last newsletter, the Washington Supreme Court recently upheld the legality of the King County Ordinance authorizing the County to collect a rental charge from water/sewer districts and other utilities operating facilities in County right of way. At present, the District, along with a group of other water/sewer districts in King County, is pursuing a challenge to the County’s methodology for calculating the rental charge. This may involve a return to the King County Superior Court and further proceedings and negotiations to address rent calculations (the County’s rent calculation methodology can be viewed at: https://www.kingcounty.gov/about/policies/rules/property/rpm92pr.aspx).
Over the coming months, the District will be reviewing implementation of the rental charges for water and sewer facilities in County right-of-way identified to the District in the County’s initial rent notice. The rental charge would be added to water and sewer rates for ratepayers within the unincorporated areas of King County. While no firm date for implementation of the charge has been determined at this time, it will likely be no sooner than the second half of 2020. The rent challenge and any negotiations with King County could change this schedule and we will keep you updated as the matter develops.