HERMISTON, OR- It isn't just homes being affected by the recent increase in Hermiston water bills, it's businesses too. One car wash in Hermiston, Five Star Auto Wash, is really feeling the effects of the increasing water bills.
"It's been quite a big surge for our cost on a day to day operation," said Russ Greene the owner of Five Star Auto Wash.
Greene is seeing a significant increase in his bills each month despite using around the same amount of water as he did last year. In August of 2018, he used 7,729 gallons of water and his bill was $1,469. In August of 2019, he used less water at 7,329 gallons and his bill went up to $4,165. Greene has tried many things to combat these prices including going a more environmentally friendly route.
"We changed the nozzles on some of our equipment to be able to reduce the water usage on those," said Greene.
The reason why Greene and businesses like his are being charged more is because of the rates the city needs to hit. If they were to lower the cost for high in water users they would have to raise the cost for low in water users.
"We have to hit a certain revenue bench mark in order to meet our costs," said Mark Morgan Hermiston's Assistant City Manger. "If we make things more affordable for larger water users that comes at the expense of smaller water users."
Greene plans to voice his concerns to city council until he gets an answer. He hopes to not only fight for businesses like his but also for the people in the Hermiston community who may be struggling to pay their water bill because of these increased rates.
"We are really hoping the city takes another look at it and they try and come up with something more accommodating not only for ourselves but the residents within the Hermiston area," said Greene.