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Tuesday , September 18 2018
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Home | Tag Archives: psb

Tag Archives: psb

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.

EP Water Staff Presents Proposed $51.1m FY2018 Stormwater Budget to PSB

In the first of two budget workshops, El Paso Water staff presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2018-19 stormwater budget to the Public Service Board (PSB) on Monday evening.

The PSB will consider the $51.1 million dollar budget and a 2 percent fee increase, which represents an additional 8 cents per month for the typical homeowner.

“We continue to prioritize projects that make the most impact to protect public safety and private property,” said EPWater President and CEO John Balliew.

Balliew added, “We had a major push in recent years to reduce flooding on I-10 with the construction of the East and West Gateway Ponds and the Magnolia pump station.  These projects are now complete and have effectively reduced I-10 flooding. In the coming year, we will concentrate on several flood prone problem spots in Central, Eastside, Westside and the Northeast.”

Completed projects in Central El Paso have resulted in 65 million gallons of capacity created for flood control, which translates into water diverted from streets and highways.  One other smaller project near Cotton Street is planned next year to continue progress in Central El Paso.

The Fairbanks project in northeast El Paso will be completed next year and will slow the speed of Franklin Mountain stormwater runoff, trap sediment that blocks water channels, and reduce heavy stormwater flows on nearby streets.

Property acquisitions are underway now in order to move forward with the Will Ruth Pond project, which is also in the Northeast and expected to help with Dyer Street flooding.

As required by city ordinance, 10 percent of the annual stormwater revenue will go toward open space acquisitions and/or park pond projects that provide natural stormwater drainage.

Since the Utility was established in 2008, 488 open space acres have been acquired to help reduce flooding.

The second stormwater budget workshop is scheduled for Monday, November 13 at 6 p.m. for the water, wastewater and reclaimed water budget. The public is invited to budget workshops as well as to upcoming regular PSB meetings on November 8 and December 6.

Upon consideration, the PSB will approve final budgets and fee changes on January 10. All workshops and meetings are held in the Boardroom at El Paso Water’s headquarters at 1154 Hawkins Boulevard.

The new budget and fees would go into effect at the beginning of the fiscal year, which begins March 1, 2018

PSB Approves FY 2017-18 Budget, Rates and Fees

On Wednesday, the Public Service Board (PSB) approved the El Paso Water Budget for fiscal year 2017-18 for its water, wastewater, reclaimed water and stormwater utilities.

The new budget includes rate and fee increases, which translate into an increase of $4.25 per month for a typical homeowner.

The $463.7 million water, wastewater and reclaimed water budget allows El Paso Water to rehabilitate, modernize and expand systems to meet the needs of El Paso’s growing population. The $55 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.

“As El Paso’s population grows, we must continue to diversify our water supply to serve the needs of our City not just for today but for the next generation,” said EPWater President and CEO John Balliew. “Just as important, we must prioritize projects that reduce flood risk in high-traffic areas and that have the potential to save lives and protect private property.”

El Paso’s population is projected to increase more than 40 percent by 2040. The FY 2017-18 water and wastewater budget will fund extending water lines into new areas, building reservoirs and pump stations, and drilling wells to increase reliability and prepare for growth.

EPWater will also take the initial steps towards increasing the capacity of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Desalination Plant, acquiring additional land for water importation and beginning to design an advanced water purification facility, which will transform treated wastewater into a safe, reliable drinking water supply.

Infrastructure rehabilitation is an equally important part of the budget. El Paso has more than 700 miles of water lines that are 40 years old or older and half of its wells are more than 30 years old. The budget will fund replacing pipelines and rehabilitating several wells. There are also plans to upgrade plants, reservoirs, the International Water Quality Laboratory and security and information systems.

The stormwater budget carries equally important projects. Several projects identified in the estimated $650 million Stormwater Master Plan have been completed, reducing the flood risk and improving public safety. Central El Paso projects have already created 38 million gallons of capacity for flood control, diverting water from streets and highways.

Improvements will continue in Central El Paso, but in 2017-18 focus will shift to major capital improvement projects in the Northeast, Westside and Mission Valley.

EPW officials say that “even with the proposed rate increase, EPWater remains focused on keeping water affordable for El Pasoans through strong financial stewardship.”

“The water and wastewater rate increase for this year was kept to 7 percent due to efficiencies found by staff. Last year, a 5-year financial outlook for the Utility indicated at least an 8 percent rate increase meet budget goals. Staff also found efficiencies in the stormwater budget, decreasing the operating budget by half a million dollars,” they added via an email statement.

This year’s rate structure will also increase the number of customers who could see their monthly water bills go down.

Customers who use less than 4 CCFS (2,992 gallons) per month will have their water supply replacement charge waived.

An estimated 17 percent of customer bills could be eligible for this waiver in a given month, which could enable conservative water users to reduce their monthly bill by about $10 per month, or $120 per year.  Previously, the waiver was only available to customers who used less than 3 CCFS (2,244 gallons) per month.

The approved budgets and rates will go into effect at the start of the fiscal year, which begins March 1, 2017.

PSB Hears Proposed Stormwater Budget, Fees for 2017; Average Increase for Homeowner 61 cents

In the first of two budget workshops, El Paso Water Staff presented the proposed 2017-18 stormwater budget to the Public Service Board (PSB).

The PSB is considering the $55.1 million dollar budget with a 61 cent per month fee increase for the typical homeowner.

The fee increase will allow El Paso Water to expand flood control projects, maintain the existing stormwater system, and continue to set ten percent of funds aside for dual-purpose ponds and open space projects.

“We have prioritized projects that reduce flood risk in high-traffic areas and that have the potential to save lives and protect private property,” said EPWater President and CEO John Balliew. “The completion of Magnolia Pump Station and Gateway Ponds in Central El Paso have significantly reduced flooding in Central and near I-10.  While that work continues, we need to now focus more on other areas to protect all El Pasoans.”

Along with continued work in Central El Paso, the proposed stormwater budget includes capital improvement projects in the Northeast, West and Mission Valley.  Among the new projects in the proposed budget are the Thomas Manor Pond improvements in the Mission Valley, the Mesa Hills improvements in West El Paso, and Fairbanks and other improvements in the Northeast.

The initial Stormwater Master Plan identified over $650 million in capital projects needed to improve flood control, and additional project needs are identified every year.

About 18% of the initial scope of work has been completed.  Top priority was given to those flood control projects that would have the biggest impact in reducing risk to public safety and private property.  Completed projects in Central El Paso alone have resulted in 38 million gallons of capacity created for flood control, which translates into water diverted from streets and highways.

Stormwater operations has also been highly productive in maintaining the existing system.  As a result, the operating budget has decreased by over half a million dollars for this coming year. Over $9 million in funds has been used to acquire open space and build dual-purpose ponds – and $5.6 million is set aside for 2017.

A second workshop is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 14th at 6 p.m. for the water, wastewater and reclaimed water budget. The public is invited to budget workshops as well as upcoming regular PSB meetings on November 9 and December 14.

The PSB will approve final budgets and fee changes on January 11. The new budget and fees would go into effect at the beginning of the fiscal year, which begins March 1, 2017.

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