On June 20, 2019, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board of Directors adopted the Budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20. The District’s overall balanced budget is $19.8M, which includes increasing reserves by $1.9M.
Operating revenues are budgeted to be $10.8M, which factors in the scheduled rate increases and that water sales remain relatively flat at 494 million gallons for the year.
Operating expenses remained relatively flat at $7.6M. The District is expecting to add an Associate Engineer, which will work on the many upcoming Capital Improvement Projects. This budget also provides for Hydrogeologist Consulting Services, supports continuing stream Flow Monitoring, Water Shortage Contingency Plan/Drought Assessment, and Fish & Habitat Monitoring.
District customers continue to demonstrate a commitment to ongoing conservation efforts, maintaining at least a 15-20% reduction in yearly water usage from 2013 consumption levels. Water resources remain a major focus for the District as we continue developing a conjunctive use plan intended to strengthen the health of our watershed, while simultaneously improving water supply reliability.
The District continues to implement an ambitious capital improvement effort. Anticipated capital expenses total $8.8M for replacement of pipes, pumps and tanks. This is an aggressive capital schedule that assumes many pieces fall into place, including the hiring of an Associate Engineer and successfully securing a roughly $10-12M loan. Interest rates are at near historic low, making it more advantageous to borrow for these larger projects. This year we are excited to complete some key capital projects that have been in progress; Probation Tank, Swim Tank, Pasatiempo Well 6 & 7. We are also excited to begin some key projects including a water system computer model and smaller, but no-less-important, projects. This budget provides increasing the number of standby generators for facilities in response to Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
The rate increase schedule has been imperative to fund capital replacement and eventually building back up reserves. Last year’s rate increase provides the District increased borrowing capacity by leveraging future revenue. Long-term borrowing helps keep rates lower, while providing the money necessary to replace infrastructure.
We live and work in one of the most beautiful places on the earth. Fiscal responsibility, environmental stewardship and a commitment to future generations will remain key driving forces as we move forward. To review the entire budget, visit the District’s website at www.slvwd.com
Rick Rogers is the District Manager for the San Lorenzo Valley Water District. www.slvwd.com