A goof in calculating the cost of a Spokane Valley sewer project has resulted in an increased subsidy to the involved homeowners.
The Spokane County commissioners Tuesday voted to increase the county’s subsidy of the Miller Park sewer project near the old Edgecliff hospital.
The county is adding $179,000 to the project, which will drop the cost to each homeowner by about $400.
Utilities Director Bruce Rawls said the Miller Park sewer system will cost $1.75 million for hookups to 229 homes and 98 commercial properties.
County engineers initially estimated the cost to individual homeowners at $3,100 per lot, but the engineers forgot to include administrative and design costs into the total.
When they recalculated their figures, the assessments rose to $3,900 per lot, Rawls said.
The Miller Park subdivision is characterized by small lots, retired people and low-income families.
Commissioners said they didn’t want to put all the additional cost on the lower-income homeowners, so they opted to subsidize half the increase.
“These people simply can’t afford this extra cost,” said Commissioner Steve Hasson.
Commissioner John Roskelley voted against the additional subsidy because, he said, it takes money away from other public uses.
Commissioner Phil Harris, who sided with Hasson, said the county goofed in its initial calculations and should be at least partly responsible for making good on the preliminary price.
“These people were not given proper and adequate service,” Harris said.
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