Aberdeen looks at EMS utility rate increases ranging from 14% to 110% starting this year

The Aberdeen City Council is considering adjustments to their EMS Utility Rates that could bring sharp increases for residents.

At their meeting on Wednesday night, the city council heard a report regarding a recent EMS Cost of Service Study to assess if the current EMS utility rates match the costs associated with the service.

In the report, representatives from FCS Group, the agency hired to put the report together, stated that, based on their research, adjustments would need to be made to keep revenue up with costs for the service.

RCW 35.21.766 authorizes cities to form an ambulance utility. These utility rates cannot exceed total costs.

According to the city, the last ambulance utility rate study was conducted in 2010. 

If approved, the proposed increase would not change the level of service, with no new stations or full-time employees as a result of the adjustment.

The fire and emergency services funding comes from both the utility rate and the general fund balance of the city.

According to the report, the current rates levied upon citizens of $27.96 a month do not meet the costs associated with the service, and increases are recommended.

The increase options would depend on the level of funding provided out of the general fund and emergency service fund, and how they are split. 

Three options were presented on Wednesday night.

Current Rate Proposed Rate Increase Increase %
2024 $58.72 $30.76 110%
2025 $63.41 $4.69 8%
2026 $67.54 $4.13 7%
2027 $69.56 $2.02 3%
2028 $71.65 $2.09 3%
2025 Estimated General Fund Savings: $1,801,538
Option 2 75% GENERAL FUND SUBSIDY (50% Mid-Point for Utility Rate)
Current Rate Proposed Rate Increase Increase %
2024 $45.30 $17.34 62%
2025 $47.33 $2.03 4%
2026 $49.46 $2.13 5%
2027 $51.69 $2.23 5%
2028 $54.02 $2.33 5%
2025 Estimated General Fund Savings: $832,638
Current Rate Proposed Rate Increase Increase %
2024 $31.87 $3.91 14%
2025 $34.11 $2.24 7%
2026 $36.32 $2.21 6%
2027 $38.68 $2.36 6%
2028 $41.20 $2.52 7%

It was stated that staff are currently recommending Option 2 which would see an increase from $27.96 to $45.30 in 2024, a 62% jump, with additional increases each year. 

The 2024 Fire and Emergency Services expenses were listed in the report as $8.81 million.

The discussion on the rate adjustment will continue at future city council meetings before a decision is made. 

Whichever option is chosen, the rates would go into effect as of July 1, 2024,


City Council Meeting Agenda – EMS Utility Rate