- Published on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 19:53
- Written by Super User
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) announced the date and time for its public hearing to give the public an opportunity to comment on proposed user rates.
CFPUA will conduct a public hearing in the Lucie Harrell Conference Room, located in the New Hanover County Administration Building, 230 Government Center Drive, Wilmington, North Carolina.
The hearing will commence at 9:00 A.M., on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at which time any person may be heard regarding water and sewer rates.
The Regular Monthly Authority meeting will commence immediately following the Public Hearing. Mike McGill - Chief Communications Officer - explained, "Because we are not proposing changes to our fixed charges for water and sewer, the proposed overall increase percentages for an average bill range from 1.9% to 7%."
Currently the fixed bi-monthly rate for a 5/8" or 1" meter is $25.81 for water and $29.10 for sewer. In addition to the fixed rate, the cost per 1,000 gallons of water consumption is $3.42 and $4.21 per 1,000 of sewer treatment per month.
McGill explained, "The overall increases proposed range from 10 cents to 41 cents per thousand gallons for water and 16 to 55 cents per thousand gallons for wastewater. One important note, even with the highest rate proposal, one gallon of water would still cost four-tenths of one cent. Treating a gallon of wastewater would cost one-half of one cent."
Copies of the proposed rate models are available online at www.cfpua.org and will be available for review at the office of the Authority Clerk, on March 6, 2014.
The proposed increases are the result of an 8% decrease in consumption. In January 2014 the Board of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) approved an amendment to CFPUA’s Fiscal Year ’14 Operating Budget, reducing it by $1.2 million to account for a significant decline in water consumption, and the resulting revenue it generates. The move formally adopted actions first taken by the Authority’s staff last fall, which
responded to the initial signs of the declining consumption and revenue by proposing reductions in the operating budgets of all departments. After the proposals were made, those funds were moved into a reserve so they could be reduced by the Board or reinstated, depending on levels of consumption and revenue. Both consumption and revenue continued to decline or leveled off during the first six months of the fiscal year.
When the $37.5 million operating budget for FY ’14 was developed, CFPUA took into account the drops in consumption and revenue the Authority experienced last year. The decreases reflected trends found at the state and national levels, with several factors contributing to the declines. Among the factors are consumer conservation, widespread usage of lower-flowing devices and appliances, reaction to pricing changes and local weather events. In CFPUA’s case, a particularly wet summer in 2013 significantly contributed to the reduction in consumption at the start of the 2014 fiscal year.
In January Jim Flechtner, CFPUA Executive Director said, “The action taken today is the right and responsible way to address changes in water consumption while we move forward with the need to renew or replace our aging infrastructure,” and, “Fortunately, the fine work of CFPUA staff helped us to manage these changes without reducing service.”
The amendment passed by the Board in January reduced water revenue by $900,000 and wastewater revenue by $300,000 for a total of $1.2 million. (Residential wastewater charges are capped at 30,000 gallons, where water charges are not capped, resulting in the difference in the amounts of the reductions.)