FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Mike McGill
After Hours: (910) 622-8472
Wilmington, NC (March 5, 2014): The Finance Committee of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) voted today to recommend to CFPUA’s full board the adoption of a rate proposal that addresses increasing daily expenses like fuel, energy and chemicals, and declining water consumption. The proposal calls for increasing overall rates by $2.70 per month for the average customer. CFPUA bills on a bimonthly basis.
The proposal only affects the customer water usage rate, currently at $3.42 per thousand gallons, and the customer wastewater usage rate, currently at $4.21 per thousand gallons. If adopted, the new water usage rate would be $3.67 per thousand gallons (approximately four-tenths of a cent per gallon) and the new wastewater usage rate of $4.56 per thousand gallons (approximately one-half of a cent per gallon).
The proposal does NOT include an increase in the water and wastewater fixed charges. Fixed charges are 40% of the average customer’s bill and cover fixed costs such as infrastructure maintenance and replacement and debt service. As a result, the percentage of the overall increase recommended by CFPUA’s Finance Committee is 4.4%.
“We always strive to find the right balance between affordability for our customers and responsibility to properly maintain safe and reliable systems for our community,” said Jim Flechtner, CFPUA Executive Director. “At the same time, we, and the water industry as a whole, are confronting a unique dilemma. We are seeing decreased water usage due to weather and water-saving fixtures at the same time we face increases in fuel and energy costs. ”
The proposal now moves to CFPUA’s full board for consideration. A public meeting will be held 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 a.m., on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at which time any person may be heard regarding water and sewer rates. The full CFPUA’s board regular meeting Monthly Authority meeting will commence immediately following the public hearing. Copies of the proposed rate models will be available review at the office of the Authority Clerk, on March 6, 2014, or be found line at www.cfpua.org. A vote on the rate proposals will likely occur at the CFPUA Board’s April meeting.
Any person unable to attend the hearing and wishing to comment in writing regarding said rates should do prior to March 28, 2014, by mailing comments to the Authority Clerk, 235 Government Center Drive, Wilmington, North Carolina, 28403, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the public hearing on March 12, CFPUA continues to extend offers to the public to invite CFPUA to their organizations’ functions to explain its operations and rate structure. Interested homeowners associations, civic organizations and community groups are asked to schedule a meeting by contacting Mike McGill, CFPUA’s Chief Communications Officer, at email@example.com or by phone at 332-6704. The sessions can be scheduled during morning, afternoon and evening hours and can fit into existing organization meeting times.
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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 67,000 water customer accounts and more than 65,000 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 www.cfpua.org or contact CFPUA’s Communications staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.