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Friday , October 19 2018
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Tag Archives: budget

PSB Approves FY 2018-19 Budget, Rates and Fees

Wednesday morning, the Public Service Board (PSB) approved the El Paso Water Budget for fiscal year 2018-19 for its water, wastewater, reclaimed water and stormwater utilities.

“As El Paso’s population grows, we must continue to develop new water resources and extend infrastructure to serve new developments of homes and businesses,” said EPWater President and CEO John Balliew. “We also aim to improve system reliability and customer service.”

The new budget includes an 8% water/wastewater rate increase and a 2% stormwater fee increase.  Together, these translate into an increase of $4.06 per month for a typical homeowner.

The $490 million water, wastewater and reclaimed water budget enables El Paso Water to replace aging infrastructure, improve reliability and secure future water supplies.  The utility has also prioritized investment in a new customer information system and will continue staffing improvements and technology upgrades to improve customer satisfaction.

The $51.1 million stormwater budget will help expand flood control projects, maintain the existing stormwater system, and continue to set aside 10 percent of funds for dual-purpose ponds and open space projects.

“El Paso Water is trying to be proactive by repairing and replacing deteriorating infrastructure,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “We need to be prepared, and build for the future.”

Via a news release, PSB officials said, “Even with this year’s rate and fee increases, El Paso’s monthly water charges are well below those of other large Texas cities and other Texas border cities…and on a national scale, El Paso’s water and wastewater rates are less than half of the national average of $140 per month.”

Officials added, “Conservation is the key to reducing water bills for residential and business customers. The rate structure is designed to provide relief for low water users while charging a premium for high water users. Customers using less than 4 ccfs* (2,992 gallons) of water in any given month will receive a waiver of the Water Supply Replacement Charge. Last year, this charge of $9.83 was waived on an average of 38,000 monthly customer bills.”

The PSB also gave EPWater approval to enter into discussions with Project Amistad, a local non-profit, on an affordability program to help those who struggle to pay their monthly bill.

The approved budgets, rates and fees will go into effect at the start of the fiscal year, which begins March 1, 2018.

Cornyn Praises Administration, Highlights Need for Pro-Growth Tax Reform

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today on the Senate floor underscored the need for pro-growth tax reform in advance of the release of Wednesday’s blueprint from the Administration. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video of his remarks can be found here.

“As we look ahead to big-ticket items that we all want to make progress on, I’m committed to continuing to work with all of our colleagues and the Administration in doing all we can to help keep small businesses, family farmers, and entrepreneurs, to help them spend more time doing productive work and less time doing busy work mandated by the bureaucrats here in Washington, D.C. One of the areas that is one of those big-ticket items is tax reform.”

“I look forward to reviewing the proposal that the President has made. There’s no question there’s a lot of room for reforming our tax code.”

“We know our tax code is way too complicated. It’s riddled with loopholes, inconsistencies, and provisions that impede job creation. Pro-growth tax reform should be our goal, and it’s something that’s united Republicans and Democrats in the past, and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be united again in accomplishing that tax reform.”

“So I look forward to hearing more about the President’s proposal, and I applaud him for making a bold statement about the direction we ought to go. Now is finally the time to address it.”

“All of these efforts, tax reform, rolling back unnecessary regulations and rules, and providing a better environment for businesses to thrive are vital to getting our economy back on track and away from years of stagnant growth we saw under President Obama.”

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.