The City of Anacortes expects to have $79.8 million in revenues and expenditures in 2020 — $13 million more than in 2019 — with the biggest jump in investments being in the city water system and parks.

That’s according to the 2019-20 biennium budget, which took final shape after a series of amendments as 2019 neared its end.

Increased revenue from business, residential and wholesale water rates will bolster the city’s water budget of $31.4 million, which is up from $15.9 million in 2019.

The reason for the big jump: construction of a new clear well, which is an enclosed tank used to store filtered water; and installation of a second water line from the water intake on the Skagit River to the water treatment plant. The second water line is intended to provide a back-up in the event something happens to the initial water line, Finance Director Steve Hoglund said last week.

The city will get the money up front through a 20-year revenue bond — essentially a loan from investors in municipal bonds — to be repaid with revenue generated from user fees, he said.

The park and recreation fund budget increased from $1.7 million to nearly $2.2 million, mainly because of the transfer of the Anacortes Senior Activity Center from administrative services to the parks and recreation department, Hoglund said.

The city’s general fund, which covers the cost of administration, fire protection, police and other city departments — is $17.9 million, up from $17.5 million in 2019. The uptick reflects an increase in the budgets for information systems and the city’s fledgling broadband service.

Meanwhile, revenues and expenditures for other departments and funds remain similar to or less than those in the 2019 budget.

Among the changes to come affecting residents and businesses:


The owner of a home with a median assessed value will pay about $57 less in property tax this year, thanks to the final payment being made on the bond that funded construction of the library, Hoglund said.

However, residents will pay more for city utilities each month: For water, the cost is $20.66 basic rate and 3/10 of a cent per gallon, up from $19.86 basic rate and 2/10 of a cent per gallon in 2019.

For sewer service, residents will pay $40.27 per month, up from $38.91 in 2019.

For solid waste service, residents will pay $14.05 a month for an organics tote, $11.50 for a recyclables tote and $17.11 for a 32-gallon refuse tose or $9.21 for a 21-gallon refuse tote. That’s up from $13.76, $11.26, $16.75 and $9.02, respectively, in 2019.

For stormwater handling, residents will pay $11.29 per month, up from $10.22 in 2019.

In all, the basic rate for utilities per month is about $106.98 in 2020, up from $103.03 last year.


Businesses and wholesale customers of water will pay more for utilities, as well.

For water, the commercial rate is $31.03 basic rate, up from $29.83 in 2019. The per-gallon rate is relatively unchanged, at 4/10 of a cent per gallon. But agricultural customers now pay $1,682.22 per million gallons, up from $961.51 per million gallons in 2019. Other wholesale water customers that buy water from the city and sell it to their consumers — Town of La Conner, City of Oak Harbor, Skagit Public Utility District and Swinomish Tribe — pay a higher rate.

For sewer service, the commercial rate is $45.09 per month, up from $38.91 per month in 2019.

Businesses pay the same rate as residents for trash collection and stormwater handling.

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