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Home | Tag Archives: Public Service Board (PSB)

Tag Archives: Public Service Board (PSB)

PSB Approves FY 2019-’20 Budget; Will Average $3 Increase for Homeowner

On Wednesday, the Public Service Board (PSB) approved a $436.1 million El Paso Water budget for water, wastewater and stormwater systems for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

“Along with many other utilities across the country, rehabilitating our older facilities is a priority,” said EPWater President and CEO John Balliew. “Major upgrades at three of our wastewater facilities will improve performance, reliability, efficiency and odor control.”

According to a release by the PSB, they “kept stormwater rates flat while approving an increase of 4 percent for water service and 8 percent for wastewater service. Together, the rate changes translate into a $3 per month increase for a typical homeowner.”

Officials added, “Even with this year’s rate increases, El Paso’s monthly water charges are the second lowest of other large Texas cities. Only Laredo’s water rates are lower, while water rates are higher in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio.”

Nearly half of this year’s capital improvement budget for water and wastewater will be dedicated to addressing aging infrastructure. The utility will also prioritize new water and wastewater infrastructure to support city growth and water supply projects to meet future demand.

The $48.4 million stormwater budget allows for ongoing maintenance of the existing system and continued progress on major flood control projects already underway. Several projects currently in design or construction were funded in the 2018-’19 fiscal year with work continuing into the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Conservation remains a tool for 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 about $10 was waived on an average of 33,000 monthly customer bills, saving customers approximately $3.9 million.

Earlier this year, EPWater also launched an affordability program – in partnership with non-profit Project Amistad – to help elderly, low-income customers who are at risk of disconnection.

The approved budgets, rates and fees will go into effect at the start of the fiscal year, which begins March 1, 2019.

El Paso Preservation and Conservation Committee Seeking Comments on Planning Document

The Preservation and Conservation Plan Committee is asking residents to chime in on a report dealing with the plan for preservation of parts of the Franklin Mountains in and around the city.

In response to a “We the People” petition that gathered 6,252 signatures supporting the preservation of public lands in northwestern and northeastern portions of the Franklin Mountains, a Preservation and Conservation Plan Committee was established by the Public Service Board (PSB) in late 2015.

Via a news release officials shared that the purpose of the committee was to “establish conservation standards for development and for preservation of PSB managed lands adjacent the mountains and Franklin Mountains State Park.”

The committee was made up of a “diverse mix of community members and backgrounds, all with the goal of ensuring a high quality of life for present and future generations.”  A report was completed and presented to the PSB earlier this year and is now ready for public review.

Officials with the committee say it contains scientific data to assist in decision making about the existing resources managed by El Paso Water Utilities (EPWU) and in our region by the City of El Paso as well as organizations, government agencies, individuals, developers and business owners.

The proposed map included in the report (page 3 and included below) identifies lands to be preserved with no disturbances, specific areas to have very limited disturbance, master planned land in the past, and where conservation development may take place.

Conservation development is working with the land keeping the terrain, trails water flow, and wildlife corridors in mind.

To read the report in full and provide comments via a survey, residents can visit the website.  The committee will receive public comments via a survey link until November 30, 2018. Replies may also be mailed to:

The Frontera Land Alliance

3800 N. Mesa St., A2-258,

El Paso, Texas 79902.

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Public Service Board approves EPWU budget; Rates set to rise 11%

During Wednesday morning’s regularly scheduled Public Service Board (PSB) meeting, members approved the 2016-17 budget for the El Paso Water Utilities (EPWU.)

The budget, first proposed last November, includes expenses for the EPWU’s water, stormwater, wastewater ad reclaimed water project.

EPWU released the following statement: “At today’s January meeting, the Public Service Board approved El Paso Water Utilities budget for fiscal year 2016-2017 as proposed at the November budget workshops. EPWU’s budget will include $463.2 million for water and wastewater utilities and $57.8 million for stormwater, as well as an 11 percent increase to water/wastewater rates and monthly stormwater fees.”

According to information released during the budget proposal meetings in November, the 11% increase means the average residential bills will increase by about $4.52 monthly from $41.56 to $46.08.  Officials at the time said that the rate structure will remain the same to reward conservation; customers save money when saving water.

Regarding the increase to the water/wastewater and monthly stormwater fees, officials say the stormwater fee increase will allow EPWU to complete more capital projects, increase flood protection, pay off debt accrued from previous projects and increase cash reserves — which are important for the utility to maintain its AA+ bond rating and qualify for lower interest loans.

Officials with the EPWU went on to say that the rate increase would help fund future water supply projects, address aging infrastructure needs and support system expansion to keep pace with city growth.

To review EPWU’s budget proposal, click stormwater or water/wastewater.

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