The Henry County Public Service Authority’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a fiscal year 2019-2020 budget at a work session Monday. For the sixth year in a row, the approved budget includes no rate increases.
The budget totals $14,944,893, which includes $6,794,277 in capital projects and debt payments. This compares with a fiscal year 2018-2019 budget of $13,095,161.
Residential rates are proposed to remain at $30 a month for a minimum of 4,000 gallons of water and $30 a month for sewer service, which is based on water use.
“The budget demonstrates our continued commitment to responsible financial management,” said Gerald Lawicki, PSA Board Chairman. “It allows us to fulfill our day-to-day mission of providing quality water and sewer services to our customers without having to raise rates.”
The biggest single change for the FY’20 budget is the elimination of all “Non-User” Fees, effective July 1. These fees were required by financing agreements for past projects. At one point, non-user fees were necessary to ensure that projects could be funded adequately and provided encouragement for those living along a project’s path to hook onto PSA services.
“The Board has never liked the non-user fees,” Lawicki added. “We are glad that we are now in a position to eliminate these fees.”
The budget includes a three percent cost-of-living raise for PSA employees, but the PSA had to mitigate what would have been an 18 percent increase in health insurance costs by making changes to the coverage and utilizing insurance savings from previous years.
Much of the staff and board’s attention over the next 12 months will be on the expansion of the Philpott Water Treatment plant. When the expansion is completed, the Plant will be able to produce up to six millions gallons of water per day, a 50 percent increase over our current capacity.
During the next fiscal year, the PSA will continue its efforts to transition all of its meters to radio-read meters. Radio-read meters improves the process of reading the meters and can help detect possible leaks sooner. Other capital items include the construction of a water tank in Northwest Henry County, replacing certain high mileage vehicles, and mitigating water losses.
Copies of the PSA Budget are available through the General Manager’s Office at the County Administration building and on the website at www.henrycountyva.gov.