CFPUA Finance Committee Recommends Rates, System Development Charges for Fiscal Year 2017
Rates would not increase, System Development Charges (SDCs) would be reduced
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Mike McGill
After Hours: (910) 622-8472
Wilmington, NC (May 4, 2016): Earlier today, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s Finance Committee recommended CFPUA’s water and sewer rates, as well as its System Development Charges (SDCs), for Fiscal Year 2017. If the full Board approves the proposals as part of CFPUA’s FY 2017 budget, the residential uniform rate for water usage would remain at $3.67 per 1,000 gallons and the sewer usage rate would remain at $4.56 per 1,000 gallons. CFPUA’s base rates would also remain the same at $25.81 per bi-monthly bill for water and $29.10 per bi-monthly bill for sewer. As a result, an average residential bill would remain at $69.49 a month.
Due to lower interest rates and updated estimates for infrastructure costs, the Finance Committee also proposed a reduction in CFPUA’s water and sewer System Development Charges (SDCs) for FY 2017. SDCs are one-time fees, charged to new customers to help pay for the construction and upgrades of CFPUA infrastructure needed to take them on as customers. SDCs are evaluated every year as part of the budget process.
Under the proposal, the one-time SDC charges for water and sewer would be lowered. The residential water SDC would change from $1,920 to $1,510 while the residential sewer SDC would change from $2,460 to $2,030. The changes would take effect for any new customer connecting to CFPUA’s systems on or after July 1, 2016.
One of the reasons for the recommendations is CFPUA’s strong financial performance, highlighted by its operating budget, which has not significantly increased in its nine years of operation. In fact, CFPUA operates the water and sewer systems for less money today than it cost Wilmington and New Hanover County to separately operate the systems nine years ago. CFPUA’s consumption and other budget targets are also being met, assisted by continued economic growth.
“We are pleased that the Finance Committee was able to recommend unchanged water and sewer rates, as well as reduced SDC rates,” said CFPUA Executive Director Jim Flechtner. “Our current and new customers are benefitting from sound financial management and previous investments in our infrastructure.”
The recommendations come shortly after CFPUA’s rates again received high marks from the UNC School of Government Environmental Finance Center in their annual study of North Carolina’s Water and Wastewater Rates. 427 of the state's utilities took part in the study, which is unique in how it provides users the ability to visually compare each utility’s performance against one or all of the 427 utilities surveyed. The Environmental Finance Center placed CFPUA in its green, or “optimal”, zones in just about every rate-based and financial category.
CFPUA will hold a budget workshop for its Board members on Tuesday, May 17, at 9 a.m. at CFPUA’s main office, 235 Government Center Drive in Wilmington. At that time, CFPUA Board members will review the full budget proposal with staff. The session is open to the public.
A public hearing on the budget proposal will be held before CFPUA’s June Board meeting on Wednesday, June 8 at 9 a.m. in the Harrell Conference Room of the New Hanover County Government Center, 230 Government Center Drive in Wilmington.
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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 email@example.com.