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Wilmington water bills may be going up $5 per month

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WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE FROM CFPUA) -- The Finance Committee of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) voted today to recommend to CFPUA’s full board that it adopt a new rate structure for Fiscal Year 2014.

The new structure would move the Authority away from its current three-tiered rate structure to one that combines the use of a conservation block with a uniform rate.

Under the proposal, the average residential customer using 10,000 gallons bi-monthly would see a rate increase that will address more than $25 million dollars in future sewer and water infrastructure projects, as well as increased operating costs and service on CFPUA’s debt. An average residential customer will see their bill rise $4.90 a month or $9.80 every billing period. CFPUA’s billing cycle is every other month.

The recommended proposal now moves to CFPUA’s full board for consideration. A public meeting will be held in the Lucie Harrell Conference Room located in the New Hanover County Administration Building, 230 Government Center Drive in Wilmington. The hearing will commence at 6:00 P.M., on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at which time any person may be heard regarding water and sewer rates.

CFPUA’s monthly board meeting will commence immediately following the public hearing. Copies of the proposed rate models will be available for review at the office of the Authority Clerk, on March 7, 2013, or be found online at www.cfpua.org.

A vote on the rate proposals will occur at CFPUA’s April board meeting. The recommended rate proposal will provide a new conservation rate and will place customers who are not in the conservation block under a uniform rate. The new conservation block takes into account the current realities about water conservation to appropriately capture those customers who are using little or no water. Under this proposal, based on historical consumption, 32% of ALL usage would still fall within the proposed conservation block. ALL residential customers would still receive the lowest rate for usage under 6,000 gallons - $2.90 per 1,000 gallons - which is less than the cost to produce the water.

“Our Finance Committee has worked diligently and has looked at a variety of proposals in order to strike a balance between the financial impact on our customers and the overall benefit of ensuring our water and wastewater systems are sustainable well into the future,” said Matt Jordan, CFPUA CEO. “The committee took into account the need to invest in our infrastructure while maintaining our work to keep our rates at the lowest practicable cost. We must incorporate the same costs of doing business that other organizations and businesses budget for in order to properly operate and maintain our water and wastewater systems.”

Two other proposals will also be reported out to the full board on March 13.

One details the rates and costs associated with a uniform rate for ALL customers and the other involved the rates and costs involved under a four-tier rate system that also focuses on appropriately capturing conservation. The board may reject the Finance Committee’s recommendation and either choose one of other two proposals or an entirely new proposal.

In addition to the public hearing on March 13, CFPUA recently announced the launch of an expanded community outreach program. It includes a presentation about CFPUA that discusses the recommended rate proposal. Interested homeowners associations, civic organizations and community groups are invited to contact CFPUA to schedule a meeting by contacting Mike McGill, CFPUA’s Chief Communications Officer, at communications@cfpua.org or by phone at 332-6704.

The sessions can be scheduled during morning, afternoon and evening hours and can fit into existing organization meeting times.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Squawkers...

I read most of the comments hear as folks who never took economics, do not understand utility market models, and are clueless about infrastructure in general. I guess you could say this is a refelective snapshot of the NC education system.

Why do utilities operate as monopolies? - study microeconomics.

This is also a great example of the problems with America now. We are that future generation, paying for the sins of the previous generation - City of Wilmington and New Hanover County. Now, with our national debt, this is exactly what you are doing to your kids and grandkids...they will pay for your stupidity.

The CFPUA has to fix the problem...they have no choice as EPA and NCDENR are breathing down their necks. To fix the problem requires capital. The City of Wilmington didn't tax the real cost, and what they did tax, they diverted to other shiny objects. New Hanover County let developers run the show, and well water and septic systems don't cost all that much. (Then, they both violated the Clean Water Act, and a no-build moratorium was proclaimed.) That got their attention by the short-curlies. CFPUA has no such ability...the numbers are a transparent open book, if you are smart enough to understand them. (I know that answer to that.)

Nobody except for a select few are getting rich working for CFPUA...but those few have advanced education and professional licenses in their fields. Isn't that why you send your kids to college?

But hey...you have a free internet connection and a right to whine. It is a free country.

Insane!

This is insane! My husband and I conserve all we can. We use about 3,000 gallons per billing period (every 2 months), mainly for showers. We have water wise toilets, washing machine, and dishwasher. For drinking water only, we go to the grocery store and buy gallon jugs for 99 cents (and no sewer charges). There is no possible way we could cut back any further, but the prices just keep going up and up, except for salaries, of course. We'll be retiring soon and will be living on fixed incomes. How in the hell are people supposed to make it when everything keeps going up? Now there's talk of social security cutbacks. For God's sake, giving people a break and quit dollaring us to death....literally!

and meanwhile

the CEO, Matt Jordan, makes about 5 times the median income for Wilmington. WHY? CPFUA has raised rates CONSTANTLY since we were forced to convert (off of septic). I usually don't care what people in the private sector make but this is quasi-private and borderline criminal.

Rising Rates, don't say I "told Ya So"

Bend over, here they come AGAIN....
Title Should read

ILM GOUGES 5.00 per month from people

Folks, there's a ISSUE here, thats very VERY, Simular to a certain place. It's called Jefferson Co. Alabama, I suggest you look it up...
I'm betting, that WE HERE are facing Simular Problems here that the County/City down there faces...
Debt Issuance & Bond Payments.
To the Point, that SEVERAL Elected Officals "Went to Prison" over the Whole "problem"...
I'm currently asking some well known investor(s)/doing some research to see if WE here are getting the same "treatment" w/out LUBE, as the residents down there are experiencing....
Some "Banksters" should-of went to JAIL, though JP Morgan, whom financed the Bonds paid a Hefty penalty over the Whole mess,NONE went to "Jail", I suspect WE have been "hit" with the same, (scam)...
In addition, I've been on City water for almost 20 years now...
Since I've "Moved" onto A MAJOR HIGHWAY,(Shipyard Blvd), WHY in the Lords name am I having to pay the City of Wilmington 25.00 every bill period for STROM WATER services, when the "grade" of the yard here goes 6 FEET down from the Highway curb?
I COLLECT all this rain/storm water(s) IN MY YARD! The ONLY pourpose of this *Storm Drainage*, is to Keep water from ponding ON THE ROAD!
So IF I"M PAYING, (In addition to state & FEDERAL GAS TAXES) for Maintaince & upkeep of SHIPYARD BLVD, can I put up a TOLL BOOTH, to COLLECT change for STORM WATER Services on a STATE ROAD that I ALREADY pay "gas taxes for"????
Thats 150.00 a year OUT OF MY Pocket I can Ill afford...
Shouldn't the **PROPERTY OWNERS** pay for this "storm water services"?
I rent, I DO NOT USE, in any way shape or form, the Storm water Drain near-by.
ON a MAJOR HIGHWAY, shouldn't all these GAS TAXES pay for this?

Now CFPUA wants to also raise "water rates" also?
Hows about the DEVLOPERS that are building all these New Homes pay for it? Pump station(s) etc?

In this past Month Were Hit with..
Higher fuel Cost(s)
Higher Insurance cost(s)
Higher Electric Cost(s)
Higher Car taxes..
Higher Boat Taxes
(AND ya'll ain't seen nothing yet when O-care kicks in.....)
Something you've already bought & paid for, have "title" in hand, yet Still I have to pay "taxes" every year on it? WTF!, in effect, I'm renting my vechile I OWN from the City/County of Wilmington?!!!!!!!
Where & when DOES IT STOP!
Will I be able to even feed Myself? AFTER TAXES?????
Yes Mr. McGill I want to take you up on your offer,,, AND the City of Wilmington, tell ME, (with the grade of MY driveway & yard) being on a MAJOR STATE ROAD, why I'm I subject to a Storm water "TAX", opps I meant service...... If it means having a "crew" cleaning out a "storm drain" once a year, I'll do it MYSELF, when & if needed....
Lordy I DO ENOUGH keeping GARBAGE picked up out of the Marshgrass at the boatramp area(s) of River Road park, EVERY WEEK, that the City/County employess are SCARED to do, because of,, SNAKES!
Sick & tired of being TAXED to death.....

They force you into the city

They force you into the city by way of annexation. In that process they force you to switch from well water to community water and since they have you by the throat, they force you to pay whatever they decide you should pay because you have no alternative for a water supply. I think our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves over such nonsense.

past years

Can anyone please tell me over the past few years how much of a rate increase have we all received?

Everyone should cough-up $35...

and go to the "Power Breakfast" this Friday at the Convention Center to watch the dog & pony show with the City & County Manager, Saffo, and White.

They'll all be smiling, shaking hands, and profess a "spirit of cooperation" as they discuss how consolidating services between the County and City will "save money." Truth be told, when the CFPUA was formed, no jobs were lost, numerous new vehicles purchased, fat raises and bonuses awarded...all at our expense.

When one of the four on Friday says "cost savings" or "efficiency", someone needs to shout "bull****"!

But hey...this event will count as an "official event" at the Convention Center.

I guess they want us to pay

I guess they want us to pay for all their sewage spills they caused, and you always get a raise when you screw up all the time . Saffo wants a raise that's the reason they are raising your bill.

Rate increase story

Mike McGill from CFPUA here. We take care of 1,100 miles of water mains (you can drive from here to Dallas on our water mains) and more than 900 miles of sewer mains (you can drive from here to New Orleans on our sewer mains). Many of our mains are 60, 70, 80, even 90 years old. The infrastructure projects being funded by the rate increase tackle repair and replacement of sewer and water mains, mostly sewer. Since CFPUA began operating, sewer overflows are down almost 40% and the volume of those overflows has dropped even more.

Rate increases for capital replacement

As I posted earlier the cfpuc increases property value for county property when it makes investments in new lines or when it extends service area. The county actually can receive increased taxes for property as a result that benefits everyone in the county. The cfpuc really needs to pass through expenses to the county for capital improvement's the same as it would a developer of a new subdivision . The county should not be allowed to escape the costs associated with lack up proper maintenance. I live in a twenty five year old home. I maintain the value of my home in unincorporated county by pumping out my septic tank yearly as well as monthly maintenance chemicals. I have replaced my well at a cost of $8000 dollars and a $2400 water softener, plus my costs of drinking waterfront , I clean my own storm water drainage ditches and fix a pave the road with asphalt as needed. I also pay about $2,400 plus in property taxes yearly. If I as a homeowner must do all this in hopes of maintaining my property value , then it stands the county should be helping the cfpuc buy maintaining its property also. It is not correct to charge only current users for capital upgrades. The costs must be spread among all who benefit from the increase in property values created by the capuc. New Hanover county residents including my self.

Hi, I agree that while my

Hi, I agree that while my paycheck seems to be going down! all my bills keep going up! and while it does seem like CFPUA is OVER charging and taking full advantage of what seems to be a CFPUA controlled entity with noone they have to answer to. I wanted to point out that Bill Saffo and the City of WIlmington and New Hanover County have nothing to do with CFPUA and their rates. If CFPUA raises the rates it does not go to Bill Saffo or anyone on City or County payroll. The entity that is set up to "Control" CFPUA is the board of CFPUA and the NC Utility Commission. It would be nice to get the guys at the Utility Commssion to listen to the Citzens and do an investigation of CFPUA and especially the CFPUA board starting first and foremost with Matt Jordan. They have problems after problems and they claim they are running efficently and then you hear of thousands of gallons of raw sewage dumped into the oceans and rivers. When they do raise the rates (lets face it; everytime they ask they get) the raise will be Matt Jordans as it has been everytime. Just my two cents.

Getting Ridiculous

Come on, one day we got socked with insurance hike through the roof and the next we get notice of water bills going up. Why cant these people cut costs. I am getting taxed/feed/billed out of my home. I only use 4,000 gallons a month and already pay 90.00 every 2 months. This equats to another 10% increase on top of a 10% increase in insurance. No raise in 3 years for me due to hard times, but these people get money hand over fist.

Rate increase

Mike McGill here from CFPUA. The reason the rate increase is required is because CFPUA, like almost all other water and wastewater utilities across the country, is a revenue-neutral utility. Expenditures MUST meet revenues and we do not receive local, state or federal money.

As I mentioned on this page, we take care of roughly 2,000 miles of water and sewer mains, many of which are more than 60 years old. They need to replaced, not just repaired, and the cost to repair ONE MILE of water main is $1.2 million. The cost for replacing sewer mains is even more. The expenditures have to be paid for by our rates and fees.

The infrastructure projects being funded by the rate increase tackle repair and replacement of sewer and water mains, mostly sewer. Since CFPUA has began operating, sewer overflows are down almost 40% and the volume of those overflows has dropped even more.

expenditure

You can ledger anything an "expenditure" that does not make it right. I know some of the people who work for contractor who work on these lines and they are paid very well not to mention the companies bottom line looks very nice on these overbids. one mile costs 1.2 million to replace....that means it takes $227.27 per foot. How about some of you and some of your overpaid staff go out and dig. If just 10 of you dug 5 feet a day that would save us $11,363.63 a day. savings would be more than all of your pay for the day (Maybe) Hell we could pay you all 500.00 a day and still save over 6k.

How much more are they going

How much more are they going to screw the working class? My paycheck is less, eveytime I turn around there's another rate increase whether its water, electric, or gas even. As a person that went from 2 working adults to a single parent...how much more before we break??? It is exhausting every freakin time I turn around they take more money...I am beginning to understand the whole 'live off welfare forever' crowd. Doing the right thing, going to college, being responsible...it doesn't work anymore. I'm college educated, I pay my bills, hell I drive a 9 year old car that was t even new when I bought it. I am fed up...I have no more blood left to give...

THE WORSE THE ECONOMY GETS,

THE WORSE THE ECONOMY GETS, THE HIGHER THE BILLS AND TAXS GO. AND THEY WONDER THE ECONOMY CAN'T RECOVER?

tax time

I agree.....isn't weird these things always seem to happen when people are getting their tax refunds. I do not think it is a coincidence. I too do not receive a 10% raise. It does not seem to matter how much you conserve...they will always raise the rates probably b/c people are conserving and their revenue is shrinking due to people trying to save money

I agree "Tax Time"! What our

I agree "Tax Time"! What our town officials doing to bring jobs to New Hanover County. All I hear is a bunch of talk and that's it about nothing that's going to help the citizens. Just taxing up to death. And they wonder why people move to Charlotte, Raleigh and Atlanta!

Wait a minute "getting

Wait a minute "getting tired" .The headlines said..."Wilmington water bills may be going up $5 per month". It didn't say it "would be going up $5 per month".
I reality...it will probably go up $10 a month.
To Mayor Saffo/City Council/CFPUA Leaders/Progress Energy Leaders/State Insurance Commission folks:
From the citizens of Wilmington,NC..."It will be an honor and a privilege to pay your higher rates on everything you can imagine...as long as you all "Step Down" from Office.
It would be worth it!!!

Use of "may"

Mike McGill from CFPUA here. The reason why the word "may" is used is because our full board won't vote on an increase of any size until our April board meeting. The full board can always reject the recommendation and consider other proposals at the April meeting.

I agree

I agree my friend. i noticed you put progress enegy as a party. I would ask you to include and capitalize Four County Electric. Did you know that Progress charges $6.75 a month per home just to have power while Four County electric charges $25.00 a month to have power. that equals $181.00 a year more just to have power to your home from Four County and Four County rates are 15% higher than Progress. I did an analysis and a household using 1000k of power a month would pay close to $400.00 a year more for same service if they are stuck with Four County versus Progress. (Now that is real money there)

water

CFPUA another example of a monopoly raping the general public I have never seen so many increases by any utility company ever..This is pure Criminal!