Vail Valley water boards to review 2019 budgets Nov. 15; increased rates proposed | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley water boards to review 2019 budgets Nov. 15; increased rates proposed

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VAIL — The boards of directors of Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority and Eagle River Water & Sanitation District will review their proposed 2019 budgets on Thursday, Nov. 15.

The authority board meeting begins at 8:30 a.m., and the district board meeting begins at 11:30 a.m. Both the authority and district agendas include public hearings scheduled at the beginning of each meeting to consider the proposed 2019 budgets and rates. Both board meetings take place in the Walter Kirch Room in the district office, located at 846 Forest Road in Vail, and are open to the public.

The authority

The authority provides water service to its six member entities (the metropolitan districts of Arrowhead, Beaver Creek, Berry Creek, Eagle-Vail and Edwards, along with the town of Avon) and to Bachelor Gulch and Cordillera. The district provides operation and maintenance of the authority’s water system through an operations agreement.

The authority board will consider operating expenditures of $7.9 million in 2019, representing a 10.2 percent increase from 2018 expenses and $16.4 million in debt-service and capital expenses, which represents a 48 percent increase from 2018. Of the proposed $16.4 million, $13.5 million is budgeted for the 2019 capital construction and replacement plan.

The authority’s 2019 proposed budget shows $10.6 million in operating revenue, representing a 1 percent increase from 2018 revenue, and $16.4 million in other revenue — of which $14.6 million (89 percent) is proceeds from a revenue bond to be issued in 2019, with the bond proceeds financing the proposed capital plan.

The authority’s 2019 proposed budget includes a 3 percent increase in monthly base service, capital replacement program and usage rates. Water use is billed in five billing tiers that allot 10,000 gallons per single family equivalent, per month, in each tier. To promote water efficiency, the price per 1,000 gallons increases in each tier. The authority’s monthly debt service base rates for 2019 are projected to decrease by pennies as these rates slightly adjust each year based on the total annual bond payments due.

The district

The district provides water service to Vail and wastewater treatment services for Vail, Minturn and Eagle-Vail through Edwards. The district maintains separate budgets for the Vail water service area and the regional wastewater service area.

For the Vail water service area, the district board will consider operating expenditures of $5.4 million in 2019, representing an 11.7 percent increase from 2018 expenses and $5.2 million in debt-service and capital expenses, which represents a 7 percent increase from 2018. Of the proposed $5.2 million, about half is budgeted for the 2019 Vail water capital construction and replacement plan.

The district’s 2019 proposed Vail water budget shows $5.2 million in operating revenue, representing a 0.4 percent increase from 2018 revenue, and $6 million in other revenue — of which $4 million (66 percent) is proceeds from a revenue bond to be issued in 2019, with the bond proceeds financing the proposed Vail water capital plan.

The district’s 2019 proposed Vail water budget includes a 2.5 percent increase in monthly base service, capital replacement program and usage rates. Water use is proposed to be billed in five billing tiers that allot 10,000 gallons per single family equivalent per month in each tier. Water use in the Vail service area is currently billed in three billing tiers.

As with the current three-tier structure, and to further promote water efficiency, the price per 1,000 gallons increases in each tier. The district’s monthly Vail water debt service base rate for 2019 is projected to decrease by 62 cents per single family equivalent as this rate adjusts each year based on the total annual bond payment due.

Wastewater budget

For the wastewater budget, the district board will consider operating expenditures of $16.6 million in 2019, representing a 10 percent increase from 2018 expenses, and $35 million in debt-service and capital expenses which represents a 60 percent increase from 2018.

Of the proposed $35 million, $15.8 is budgeted for the 2019 wastewater capital construction and replacement plan, while $18.8 million is bond payments — $14.5 million of which pays off bonds issued in 2009. The 2009 bonds were refunded in December 2017, with proceeds held in escrow, as the bond covenants do not allow for payoff prior to 2019.

The district’s 2019 proposed wastewater budget shows $20.6 million in operating revenue, representing a 6.1 percent increase from 2018 revenue. It also shows $32.7 million in other revenue — of which $30 million (92 percent) is proceeds from a revenue bond to be issued in 2019. The bond proceeds will finance the district’s long-term wastewater capital plan, which is primarily driven by state and federal regulations.

The district’s 2019 proposed wastewater budget includes a 3 percent increase in the monthly base service usage rate, which has not changed since 2013. The monthly wastewater debt service base rates for 2019 are projected to decrease by 22 cents per single family equivalent to adjust with the total annual bond payments due.

Wastewater service is based on a minimum of 5,000 gallons per single family equivalent per month; the 3 percent usage increase combined with the debt service decrease equals 43 cents more per single family equivalent per month, which results in a proposed total minimum monthly wastewater charge of $34.84 per single family equivalent in 2019, up from the current $34.41 per single family equivalent.

All rates adopted by the boards take effect with the January 2019 billing statements. For more information, contact district finance director James Wilkins at 970-476-7480.



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