Carson City water, sewer funds mostly meeting goals

The Utility Finance Oversight Committee reviewed the year-end results for the water, sewer, and stormwater funds, which are mostly meeting their financial goals.

Both the water and stormwater funds fell short on their debt to equity ratio goal due to bonds issued for major projects. The goal for all three funds is 50:50 ratio, and the water fund’s ratio is 55:45 while the stormwater fund’s ratio is 62:38. The sewer fund met that goal with a 49:51 ratio.

“It was a great efficiency action by Public Works to utilize the dollars as we’d like to see it done,” said UFOC Chair Ande Engleman, referring to the water bonds.

The water fund ended the year with $16.81 million in total revenue and $13.31 million in expenditures. The sewer fund’s revenues were $16.07 million and its expenditures $13.10 million while the stormwater fund’s revenues were $1.75 million and its expenditures were $1.33 million.

The UFOC also heard an update from Public Works staff on a rate study to reevaluate water and sewer rates, and to look at overhauling the stormwater rate structure.

The department plans to use a consultant to do the study and submissions to a request for proposal are due today. Staff hopes to evaluate and negotiate with a vendor in December and take a contract to the Board of Supervisors for approval in January with a completed report in May.

The plan is to revisit water and sewer rates, which were raised for five years staring in 2013, to see if projected revenue was met. The stormwater rates, which were raised across the board this year, will get a closer look in terms of the way they’re structured.

“I think this is a really important study,” said UFOC member Bruce Scott. “We see in sewer that we’re getting there, in water we are still upside down.”

The water fund has en ending cash balance of $7.33 million, but it’s accounted for due to years of deferred maintenance.

The UFOC also voted to recommend updated financial policies for Enterprise Funds to the Board of Supervisors. The proposed policy includes operating reserves of 60-90 days for the water fund and 30-45 for the sewer fund.


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