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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While many government employees have gone years without a raise, workers at the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority can expect a pay hike soon.

The CFPUA board met at the New Hanover County Government Center for its board meeting this morning. On the agenda: the budget for the next fiscal year, including increased wages for employees.

After a drawn out conversation, the board agreed on a new budget that will mean pay increases for some employees. According to board member Gene Renzaglia, CFPUA workers deserve an increase.

“Every year that we’ve been in existence, we’ve been able to reduce our budget between 10 to 15 percent, and that’s our operating budget, and that’s because of the work these people have, so it’s time to recognize them for the efforts they put forward,” Renzaglia said.

Not every worker will get he same amount. Renzaglia said the board increased its budget 1.1 percent for worker reclassification. That means that some employees will be compensated for added duties they have taken. Fifty-nine employees are eligible for that pay increase.

A 0.9-percent increase to the budget is for market competition. CFPUA is doing this to compete with other organizations that are increasing their incoming pay scale. There are 225 employees are eligible for that one-percent increase.

Lastly, a two-percent merit increase will be made to the budget to compensate veteran employees for their work over the last four years. These wage increases will be based on performance reviews. Since the authority was formed in 2008, no worker has received a cost-of-living or merit increase in pay.

Now that’s all changing.

“As you look at the skill set that individuals have to have, we have to compete with various organizations throughout our community and raises and increases have occurred,” Renzaglia said.

The new modifications mean a 3.9-percent increase in the overall budget.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Comment on this Story

  • water user

    How much did the work force contribute to the many failures we have seen starting with the billing fiasco which any rookie IT manager would have managed to bring in on-time, on-budget, and working correctly. The failures have multiplied since as other areas of the organization have displayed their aggregate incompetence.

    Guess the only way in government operations to get ahead is to be a failure.

  • Water user

    This just goes to show how little you know about this organization or it’s employees. The reality is the decision to select the billing provider was made prior to any authority staff being hired (including IT dept). Furthermore, the conversion (as has been reported many many times) had begun utilizing City and County staff well before July 2008 which was when the Authority actually took over. The “billing fiasco” as you state was a result of the lack of management by Non-Authority staff prior to July 2008. Read the article above, the organization (as of July 2008) has came in under budget “between 10-15 percent” each year since it took over. Just food for thought, read and re-read all articles to learn the facts before commenting. Having grown up in a different area with horrible tasting water… I am very happy to pay for such great tasting and high quality water.

  • Guest333

    Way to go “Government.” Unemployment, Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, Taxes, Gas prices, Food prices are all up and skyrocketing…. Sewer leaks, State fines and penalties and the high cost of clean ups. And you demonstrate a total lack of responsibility to us. Way to go…

  • GuestReality

    CFPUA is not a “government” agency. It’s totally separate from the county or the city.

  • Shut Up!

    I come from a family of a father who works for CFPUA and regardless of the public’s feelings regarding the organization, these men work hard everyday. Sometimes they work in extreme heat or cold, in pouring rain, through thier weekends, late nights that become early mornings. Alot of these men and women came from the County and City to CFPUA without any other option, and all of the negative criticism towards the orginization may be honest opinions from the community. However, these men and women have not received a raise since this organization was formed, and many maybe not all but many are well deserved. Alot of these people at this company are middle income hard working families like many of you and the billing increases and faulty pipes and main breaks that have not been properly maintained for years is not thier issue. These people deserve this raise and I know many do not agree with what I may be saying, but I felt the need to put in my two cents like every other citizen does when it comes to the topic of the CFPUA. I am not however speaking for the CFPUA department chairs, I am speaking for the hardworking employees who deserve recognition for the work they put in and the work they are having to correct and take the blame for. Great Job Guys!!

  • shoglo

    Thank you! you are correct it is not the employees fault, they are the ones who keep this county with water and sewer for around $12 an hour. Who wants to handle other peoples crap for that pay! Not many of the high and mighty people who live in this county. These workers work their tail off all the time. And when something hard needs to be done; its the same hard working fellers that do the work. The big boss sits on the side line. You could’nt pay me enough to handle someone elses turds! these guys risk their health for a public that dont see what they have everyday when they flush or turn on the water. Wilmington is a old town with old pipes that has grown faster then the system can keep up with. Much like our roads. These hard workig guys deserve more than a 50 cent raise. 4% is noting when you only make 30k a year and try to raise a family on that and see how hard it is. I am glad i dont work there but will be happy to pay my bill when i can see people in my yard working hard for a living to fix breaks at 4am and work all day and all night.

  • water user

    The two sending organization were incompetent as were the combined staffs. Bills came out from the authority.

    The situation is that the authority is saddled with drones in the workforce and a board with no utility or IT experience just developers with their hand out for free exetension of service.

    Had the transition to the authority gone correctly everyone would had to bid for jobs in competion with actually qualified outsiders.

    Instead the drones were grandfathered in and their poor performance continues to the present.

    Originally the authority was a good idea but now it smells so bad it should be disbanded.

    During my 14 years as a utility executive the IT director that allowed bad bills to go out would have been looking for a new job the next day.

  • Water user 2

    Actually I do have 23 plus years in Information Technology dealing with both private and public agencies. My experience in IT and the fact that I am a CFPUA customer is why I’ve paid so close attention to this issue. Once again you apparently have not read much of what has been reported or attended many meetings. The “drones” as you state (at least with regards to the CFPUA IT staff) do not exist. This along with HR, Finance, and most of the Administrative staff were all retained through a selective hiring process, and did not come over from the City or County. This was one of the efficiencies achieved by creating the Authority.
    Now, with regards to the “bad bills”, the CFPUA billing system is an ASP solution which means it is hosted and doesn’t even reside on premise for the Authority. Bills are created and sent out from Customer Service not IT. While I agree there were billing problems, they stemmed (as I stated above) from the lack of Management during the conversion process. These problems (as are most) were inherited from the City and County and left for the new Authority to cleanup. I personally feel they have done an outstanding job cleaning up the mess that they were handed!”
    Last I would encourage a you…a person with “14 years as a utility executive” to join the CFPUA Board. Maybe instead of criticizing everyone, you could help out and offer up some real solutions.

  • Guestidonotwanthigherrates

    I have lived here all my life. No rise in the last five years, but yet I have to pay for others to get more money. If the BIG WHEELS got nothing and the money went to the small guy that would be ok. That’s not what happens.

  • cintrek

    In my neighborhood, which is in front of the waste treatment facility in Ogden, we have only sewer. Our water comes from our wells. In the 4yrs. that the CFPUA has taken over we’ve watched our sewer only bills go up 52% which is now $124 every 2mos. & that’s a fixed rate. We just got our current bill that went from $113 to $124. I know folks with water/sewer who are paying a great deal less than I am. So what’s the deal with that?

  • guesty

    So when the poo hits the surface, cFpUa gets a raise. Funny, I remember when a raise was something given for excellent performance, not because it has been a long time since the last raise.

  • shoglo

    Its about time the ones who do all the hard work get some pay increases. I dont work for them and would never work in the hazard environment that those guys have to work in. They handle Asphistis, Chemicals, turds, tampons, crap and other mess people flush down the drain and all for around $12 an hour. Not many people last long in this field becuase of the hazard and no pay. The problem is the guys that do all the work are the ones with little pay and they get the front line to all the hate remarks becuase they are the ones in the public eyes first. If it were not for the city selling to CFPUA the state would be in charge of the mess on the citys hands, then where would the bills bill? higher then they are now. If you want to see some hard working men, go out there during the all night breaks and you will see the same guys that were they since 7 that morning working 24 hours straight so ungreateful clients can get some clean water. Dont forget how old Wilmington is…thats why the old lines are breaking.. Old age and over growth to fast for the aging system. No who wants to pay to replace old pipes that are not yet broken..

  • Guest1334

    I’m not against giving employees a raise, but that raise is part of the built in rate increase that comes later on this year. I live in a house with a family of five and we to tend to use a lot of water. When the last rate increase happened, we were shocked at how much our bill had gone up with the same amount of water usage. We talked to the CFPUA and they said “well we’re trying to get people to conserve water.” Great, but with a family of 5, do you want us to stop taking showers?

    Since then, we have been using less water to keep the bill down, like the CFPUA wanted everyone to do. Now, here comes ANOTHER increase in the rate, and we are forced to go along with it. I mean come on, you want people to conserve water, and when they do, you go and raise the rates AGAIN? This is getting out of control. The same thing happened with our trash company. We left Waste Industries for Trash It Now, which was just recently bought out by waste industries, and after our contract is over, we have to start paying the higher rate.

  • 1981duke

    Really, one percent is too much

  • Guest7969

    lets not forget..CFPUA was created to be a scape goat for the leadership of the city and county. Our leaders FAILED to do their jobs where water/sewer upgrades were concerned. CFPUA is putting up with the CRAP the city and county shoveled on them!

    HOWEVER, CFPUA IS NOT for water conservation….if I am a family of 4 and use the same amount of water as a family of 2 living beside me..WHO is conserving water!? If they TRULY were keeping up with water conservation…they would take into account WHO lives in the house and use it to see if there is conservation there.


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