Council hears budgets for utilities

FRONT ROYAL – The Town Council continued its work on the next budget Monday focusing on the utilities.

Director of Finance B.J. Wilson presented information on the proposed fiscal 2018 budget for the town’s enterprise funds for water, sewer, electricity and solid waste collection. Wilson presented information on the general fund and operating costs at a previous work session.

The Electric Department budget calls for a decrease in spending of $345,895 on salaries and benefits as well as operating and capital expenses. The budget also reflects a $368,655 decrease in spending on capital projects compared to the current period.

Administration costs for water and sewer would decrease slightly. Operational expenses for the water treatment plant would decrease by $232,635. The budget for the plant includes $75,000 for an asset management study and $25,000 for a rate study shared with the wastewater treatment plant. Capital projects spending decreases by $237,000 under the proposed budget.

The budget for the wastewater treatment plant reflects a decrease in spending overall by $473,490 and $590,000 for capital projects. However, operating expenses increase by $105,850. The plant budget includes its share of the $25,000 rate study.

The town can expect to spend an additional $179,775 on water line maintenance. The budget includes an additional $168,000 for line upgrades for larger sections of streets. The budget reflects an overall decrease of $859,445 for sewer maintenance. The town would spend $993,750 less in the next period on its ongoing abatement of infiltration and inflow that affects the sewer system.

The fiscal 2018 budget includes a payment of $984,440 on the loan for the wastewater treatment plant expansion project. However, Wilson advised the fiscal 2019 budget would need to include a payment of $1.96 million on the loan for the project.

The solid waste budget includes an overall decrease in personnel costs of $52,190. The town can expect to save $76,150 on salaries with the removal of the crew supervisor position.

Council and town staff expect to meet at least two more times to discuss the proposed budget before approving the spending plan.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com