The Greater Wenatchee Irrigation District, which brings water to about 10,000 acres of orchards and homes from East Wenatchee to Chelan, is considering fee hikes of up to 77 percent.
District manager Craig Gyselinck says most users will see a substantial increase if the irrigation board approves the 2023 budget as proposed.\
Agricultural users would see their rates go from about $44 per acre-foot of water to more than $78.
Home ratepayers would go from paying an annual charge ranging from $200 to $300 to a charge of $375.
Gyselinck says the change would update the district’s antiquated fee system, and also boost the budget after the district was forced to pay for more than $1 million in emergency repairs.
The district is using 60-year-old infrastructure built by the Department of Reclamation, and Gyselinck says it’s failing at a rate that’s hard to keep up with.
Public comment is encouraged; directors will discuss the proposed rate changes at their Oct. 4 meeting.