The OWASA Board of Directors adopted a budget Thursday night with no increase in monthly water, sewer and reclaimed water rates.
Fiscal Year 2016 will be the fourth consecutive year with no increase in OWASA's monthly rates, the agency reported in a news release. A typical single-family residence using about 4,000 gallons of water per month will continue to be $70.66 for 4,000 gallons of water and sewer service.
Some fees, such as those for installing water meters, will change on Oct. 1, based on changes in the costs of providing the services. A summary of rates is available by clicking here or going to owasa.org, clicking on Customer Service and then Rates, fees and charges.
“We are pleased to be able to meet the community's needs without increasing the monthly rates we charge for water and sewer services,” said Stephen Winters, OWASA's director of finance and customer service. “We are very focused on controlling costs and being as efficient as possible and our success in doing so results from the efforts of the entire organization.”
Recent cost-reducing measures include refinancing bond debt to reduce annual interest costs by an average of about $150,000 and energy efficiency improvements at the Mason Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant which lowered electricity costs by approximately $250,000 annually.
OWASA's Fiscal Year 2016 budget includes:
▪ $20.8 million for operations. No new positions are included.
▪ $10.6 million for capital investments such as replacing, renewing and improving pipes and treatment facilities. (The 5-year capital program totals $80 million.)
▪ $875,000 for equipment.
▪ $8.3 million to repay long-term bond debt. (OWASA periodically sells bonds to help pay for long-lived capital investments.)
Initiatives in Fiscal Year 2016 will include a feasibility study of advanced metering technology; updating the long-range water supply plan; and developing plans for biosolids management, energy management and water conservation.