The Block Island Times

Sewer and Water Commissions review 2014 budgets

Customers will see rate increases
By Stephanie Turaj | May 17, 2013

The Sewer and Water Commissions have approved a preliminary $1,584,182 budget for the sewer company and a preliminary $728,689 budget for the water company for 2014.

The sewer department is predicted to earn $977,349 in user fees and $71,529 in customer charges, according to the commission. The remainder of the department’s revenue comes from its reserve fund, a water contract and various fees.

Sewer customers are expected to see a 12 percent increase in customer charges, the same increase as this year’s increase. This is the third year sewer customers will see an increase to bring revenue in line with expenses, and as part of a five-year plan to repay more than $200,000 the department had borrowed from the town to cover a cash flow shortfall.

On the expense side, the sewer department has slated $413,368 for wages (both the water and sewer employees are on sewer payroll), $400,000 in property and equipment depreciation and $75,000 in repayment to the general fund.

Also, the department is projected to spend $122,000 on building, property and equipment maintenance. Other expenses include utilities, supplies and sludge disposal.

The water department’s revenue is generated by $421,947 in user fees and $43,428 in customer charges. The remainder of water revenues will come from its reserve fund and various fees.

Under the proposed budget, water customers would see a 3 percent increase in customer fees. Last year, there was no increase for water customers.

Town Finance Director Amy Land said that the increase is a “good way to make sure [the] water [department] is staying on top of its capital investment.”

On the expense side, the department has slated $251,305 for contracted services, $185,000 for depreciation and $95,931. The remainder of expenses includes utilities, supplies and maintenance.

The final budget numbers will be adopted after a public hearing Tuesday, May 21 at 4 p.m.

This article has been amended from the version that appeared in print on May 18. Correctly stated, the water user fees are projected at $421,947. It was incorrectly reported at $42,197.

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