Finances, this fiscal year and next year, were the topics for the Pine Cove Water District directors at their May 8 meeting.
For the first three quarters of fiscal year 2018-19, which ends June 30, expenses have exceeded revenues by about $90,000. This is largely attributable to the board’s decision to pay off the loan for the Kelly property.
The loan amount was about $58,000. By paying off the loan now, the district avoids interest payments, which would have amounted to an another $4,000 to $5,000 over the loan’s duration, according to General Manager Jerry Holldber.
Addressing the overall budget, Holldber told the board, “In general, the numbers speak for themselves. There are no surprises, and the bottom line at the end of the year will be good.”
Director Diana Luther asked if there were any potential problems, and Holldber replied, “No.”
At the end of April, one month beyond the end of the third quarter, PCWD’s cash balance was about $239,000, about $12,000 more than at the end of March.
Director Lou Padula noted this improvement and said, “Not bad after that big hit [paying off the loan]. We’re doing very well.”
Holldber also presented the draft budget for FY 2019-20. Overall, he projects revenue will increase about 7.7 percent from $975,000 this year to $1,050,000 in FY 2019-20.
The principal cause for the revenue growth will be the rate increase approved last year. Holldber estimates that service revenue will grow about $55,000 (9.8 percent) to a total of $615,000.
There will be some increase in property tax revenue and lease payments.
Expenses are projected to be about $1.0 million, a 5.3-percent increase. Equipment and loan payments will be less because the Kelly property loan is paid off. The other three accounts will increase about $20,000 each.
The largest increase is budgeted for capital projects. About $50,000 will be used to buy more 8-inch pipe for current and future pipeline replacement projects. Salaries and benefits are up a modest $16,000 (3 percent), for a total of about $533,000.
The other major increases are the fuel costs for the equipment. Gas prices began increasing this year. Electricity is projected to increase just less than 10 percent or $4,000.
“Fuel costs are almost up a dollar per gallon,” Holldber told the board.
In other business, Holldber reported that water production in April was 2.5 million gallons, nearly 200,000 gallons less than April 2018. However, total production for the first four months of 2019 has been about 10.9 million gallons, which is about 1.3 million more than the same period a year ago.
Much of the current increase occurred in late January and February when an extended period of dramatically low temperatures resulted in frozen pipes and major leaks in all three water districts. Also, a portion of the April usage was water for Caltrans’ contractor working on Highway 243 repairs.
Holldber also attributed the additional water usage to the growth in full-time residency in the district.
For this four-month period, this is the most water used since 2007, when 11.1 million gallons were consumed. However, in six of the eight years from 2002 through 2009, water consumption exceeded 10 million gallons from January through April.
In other water news, Holldber reported that the groundwater level of well no. 10, the monitoring well, had risen 1 foot in April, and another 8 feet in May. At 124 feet below ground level, this is the highest it has been since September. And Holldber expects it to continue to rise as the snow melts on the mountain and rains continue