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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– With millions of dollars in bond debt the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority will be forced to increase bills in the future. Wilmington residents have had issues with the utility company’s billing for quite some time. Wednesday night the CFPUA had its annual meeting and invited the public to voice its complaints.

Only two customers showed up for the public comment period of the meeting.

“Our customer service department does a good job,” said Jim Quinn, the CFPUA Chairman. “If you’ve got a complaint they address it and they don’t stop until you understand what your situation is.”

Officials from the utility company say the organization has overcome some real challenges in its first few years of existence.

In 2011, the CFPUA has tackled projects like the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant and the Third Street Streetscape, where they are currently replacing water and sewer line.

As far as operations go, the CFPUA came in 15% under budget.

“The reason rates stay like they are and probably have to go up is another part of the budget is the capital improvements budget and these things we have to do in order to comply with federal regulations and to keep from having spills,” said Quinn.

The CFPUA is dealing with an infrastructure that is mandated by the city and the county. Despite the nearly $52,000,000 bond sale to update the water and sewer systems in the area, officials say they are trying their best to keep rates down.

“We’ve had to cut back on some of our capital improvements and try to keep our debt service down and keep our rates down and we’ve done a lot of shuffling around and done whatever we’ve had to do to keep them as low as possible,” said Quinn.

Comment on this Story

  • justanothercitizen

    We are so screwed. The elected officials are suppose to look out for there constituent’s best interests, but the CFPUA, with a board full of elected officials does anything but.

  • Really

    Maybe they are looking after their customers best interest? Did you prefer the sewer spills and broken water mains?

    Did your mom give you medicine even though you hated the taste?

  • cut salaries,cut salaries, cut salaries.

  • Guest20

    Seriously? In a different media today, it was reported that, at their annual meeting on Wednesday night, CFPUA decided that the water rates won’t be raised again anytime soon. BUT, that’s because it’s in negotiations to expand services to Carolina Beach and Figure Eight Island. They had a report said that CFPUA came in 15 percent under budget for the third year in a row. So why did they raise rates several times over the past two years? Especially after Matt Jordan, CEO, said that an outside firm audited the organization and found that the CFPUA is “running efficiently”.

  • Budget

    Because one of those things is called “the operating budget”…the cost of doing business…fixed cost, equipment usage and repair, and salaries. The other is called “debt service” the interest they must pay on money loaned to them to build new infrastructure…and a lot of that was inherited by the City of Wilmington. Despite them repeating this ad nauseum…folks are dim, I guess.

    The budget for the first has been going down…the rates have increased to cover the second. Capiche?

  • Robert Green

    They do not stop until you understand what your situation is.”You are at the mercy of this entity,whose purpose was to deflect this hot, political potato away from our city and county government”.They knowingly neglected our system for years,while pursuing a white elephant( convention center) and building more parks.Technically, you are receiving a continued tax increase under this entity.It took the pressure off our local leaders, who feign their displeasure of the continued rate hikes.They have no intent of dismantling this utility.
    The city and and county neglected their citizens by having their priorities out of order and are now issuing mandates for a problem they created.

    The reason only two people showed up to provide public input is because it is a lost cause to express displeasure.It looks good from a public relations standpoint that they are indeed receptive to feedback.CFPUA is one of the major downsides of being a resident in New Hanover County.They lost the public’s confidence from their inception.You are judged by first impression,which was a very caustic attitude towards the community.There is not a better spokesperson for a caustic attitude than Jim Quinn.

  • Guest20

    They’re a BUSINESS…they’re out to make MONEY. If you think they’re just looking out for your best interests, you’ve got blinders on.

    “A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true.” – Demosthenes


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