CFPUA Board Approves Fiscal Year 2016 Budget
Rates will not increase for the next fiscal year;
UNC’s Environmental Finance Center gives CFPUA’s rates “optimal” grades when compared to 500+ NC utilities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Mike McGill
After Hours: (910) 622-8472
Wilmington, NC (June 10, 2015): The Board of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority today approved CFPUA’s budget for Fiscal Year 2016. The $76.1 million plan contains no increase in water and sewer rates for Fiscal Year 2016. The residential uniform rate for water will remain at $3.67 per 1,000 gallons and the sewer usage rate will remain at $4.56 per 1,000 gallons. CFPUA’s fixed charges will also remain the same at $25.81 per bi-monthly bill for water and $29.10 per bi-monthly bill for sewer. Under the FY ’16 rates, an average residential bill will remain at $69.49 a month. Passage of the FY ’16 budget followed several presentations at CFPUA board meetings and a public hearing in May.
CFPUA’s rates recently received high marks from the UNC School of Government Environmental Finance Center in their annual study of NC Water and Wastewater Rates. 510 of the state's utilities took part in the study, which is unique in how it provides users the ability to visually compare one utility’s performance versus another’s, or against all of the 510 utilities surveyed. UNC places CFPUA in its green, or “optimal”, zones in just about every rate-based and financial category. Among the underlying reasons for CFPUA’s ratings are its operating budget, which has not significantly increased in its eight years of operation, and its consumption and other budget targets, which are being met thanks to improvements in economic growth.
The study’s results can be found at http://www.efc.sog.unc.edu/reslib/item/north-carolina-water-and-wastewater-rates-dashboard#. Using the dashboard, a reader can see CFPUA’s grades in the rate-related categories of rate affordability, actual rate cost, and cost recovery. CFPUA also landed in the “optimal” zones in six of the study’s seven financial categories including: revenues v. expenditures, debt service coverage ratio, short-term liquidity, cash on hand, and asset depreciation. (The dashboards showing these results can also be found below.)
"The UNC study again shows that CFPUA is properly balancing our rates with the need to appropriately operate and maintain the water and sewer systems,” said Jim Flechtner, CFPUA Executive Director. “We are where we should be, and need to be, in setting fair rates and responsible budgets.”
“CFPUA is charged with the difficult proposition of improving water and sewer services while maintaining the lowest possible cost,” said Pat Kusek, CFPUA Board Chair. “What this year’s budget – and the UNC study – show is just how well the people of the Authority are performing their duties with the customer in mind.”