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The original item was published from 1/8/2014 3:52:42 PM to 3/2/2014 12:05:02 AM.

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Posted on: January 8, 2014



CONTACT: Mike McGill
(910) 332-6704
After Hours: (910) 622-8472

Wilmington, NC (January 8, 2014): During its monthly meeting earlier today, 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 adopts 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. Unfortunately, both consumption and revenue continued to decline or leveled off during the first six months of the fiscal year, resulting in today’s action.

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.

“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,” said Jim Flechtner, CFPUA Executive Director. “Fortunately, the fine work of CFPUA staff helped us to manage these changes without reducing service.”

The amendment passed by the Board reduces 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.) A formal recognition of a decrease in revenues will also benefit the Authority as it heads into the bond market later this year.

For more information, contact Mike McGill, CFPUA’s Chief Communications Officer, at (910) 332-6704 or via email at

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Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) was formed by the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County to combine their water and sewer operations. It began operations on July 1, 2008. Today, the Authority serves more than 65,000 water customer accounts and more than 63,000 wastewater customer accounts. It oversees more than 1,000 miles of water distribution mains and nearly 1,000 miles of sewer mains. For more information, visit or contact CFPUA's Communications staff at

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