Notes from budget workshop No. 2 (Tuesday)

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The College Station City Council had the second of three workshops regarding the proposed FY15 city budget Tuesday afternoon at the CSU Meeting and Training Facility.

Click here to review the notes from Monday’s meeting.

Tuesday’s session primarily covered the city’s enterprise funds, which account for the acquisition, operation and maintenance of government facilities and services that are self-supported by user fees. The meeting was called to order at 3:12 p.m. and was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Fire Department Pay

To help offset costs for a three percent pay increase in the Fire Department, the council discussed a 10 percent increase in ambulance transport rates along with possibly not funding two requested personnel additions — one safety officer and one firefighter. One new safety officer and four new firefighters would remain in the budget.

Electric Fund

The electric utility provides for the construction of new facilities needed to extend electrical service to new consumers, performs repairs and maintenance to the electric system, and installs and maintains street and traffic lights. Electric utility personnel maintain over 20 miles of electric transmission lines, seven electrical substations, and more than 450 miles of overhead and underground electric distribution lines.

No rate increase is included in the FY15 Electric Fund. Revenues are expected to be about $101.8 million. Expenditures totaling about $96.61 million include:

  • Operating Expenditures and Transfers: $78.66 million
    • Operations and Maintenance: $10.26 million (includes pay plan proposal)
    • Purchased power and wheeling costs: $66.82 million
    • Net Gen/administrative transfers: $1.6 million
    • Includes proposed service level adjustments (see Monday’s blog).
    • Debt Service: $6.18 million
    • Transfer to General Fund: $5.81 million
    • Contingency: $150,000
    • ERP system replacement: $311,531
    • Capital projects funding: $5.5 million
  • Estimated FY15 Electric Capital Expenditures:$7.14 million
    • General plant.
    • Overhead system improvements.
    • Underground system improvements.
    • New services and system extensions.
    • Residential street lighting.
    • Thoroughfare street lighting.
    • Distribution.
    • Transmission.

Water Fund

The city has the capacity to produce about 30 million gallons per day of potable water. The Water Division has developed high standards of reliability that assures our needs are met with a water supply that meets or exceeds all federal and state mandated standards. As a city enterprise, the full cost of service for water production, transmission and distribution is recovered by charging customers for consumption on a per unit basis.

No water rate increase is included in the FY15 budget.

  • Revenue: $14.8 million
    • User fees from water customers.
    • No FY15 proposed rate increase.
    • Forecast shows future rate increase.
    • Proposed fire flow test fee.
    • Proposed water tap fee adjustment (year 2 of 3).
  • Expenditures: $15.09 million
    • Operating expenditures and transfers: $6.83 million
    • Includes pay plan proposal.
    • Includes proposed service level adjustments (see Monday’s blog).
    • Debt Service: $5.5 million
    • Capital Projects Funding: $1.1 million
    • ERP System Replacement: $155,765
    • Transfer to General Fund: $1.46 million
    • Contingency: $50,000
  • Estimated FY15 Water Capital Expenditures: $6,687,309
    • Key Water System Production Projects
      • Well No. 9 (design).
      • Well No. 9 collection line (design).
      • Well field fiber.
      • Sandy Point chemical system replacement .
      • Cooling tower expansion.
      • Variable frequency drive replacement.
    • Key Water System Distribution Projects
      • SH40 water line – Graham to Barron (design).
      • SH40 water line – Sonoma Subdivision to Victoria (design).
      • Area 2 water line extension.
      • Reinstallation of 30-inch transmission line at Villa Maria and FM2818.
      • Southland water line.
    • Key Water System Rehabilitation Projects
      • Eastgate utility rehabilitation (design).
      • Munson utility rehabilitation (design).
      • Luther utility rehabilitation.
      • Francis utility rehabilitation (design).
      • Nimitz rehabilitation.
      • Eisenhower rehabilitation.
      • Cooner utility rehabilitation.

Wastewater Fund

Effective sanitary sewer collection and treatment is essential to public health in an urban environment. Over the last several decades, standards have increased for this infrastructure. Past upgrades to the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant were directly related to changing standards. As the system continues to grow, additional capital will be needed. The existing system will have to be maintained with line replacements and plant enhancements and expansions. Wastewater services are provided as an enterprise function with service related fees paying for the cost of service.

No wastewater rate increase is included in the FY15 budget.

  • Revenue: $14.52 million
    • User fees from water customers.
    • No FY15 proposed rate increase.
    • Forecast shows future rate increase.
  • Expenditures: $15.1 million
    • Operating expenditures and transfers: $7.25 million
    • Includes pay plan proposal.
    • Includes proposed service level adjustments (see Monday’s blog).
    • Debt Service: $4.7 million
    • Capital Projects Funding: $1.63 million
    • ERP System Replacement: $155,765
    • Transfer to General Fund: $1.32 million
    • Contingency: $50,000
  • Estimated FY15 Wastewater Capital Expenditures: $11.05 million
    • Key Wastewater System Collection Projects
      • East Side FM 158 Sewer Line
      • Creek Meadows Oversize Participation
      • Bee Creek Parallel Trunkline
      • Royder/Live Oak Sewer Line Completion
    • Key Wastewater System Rehabilitation Projects
      • Eastgate utility rehabilitation (design).
      • Munson utility rehabilitation (design).
      • Francis utility rehabilitation (design).
      • Nimitz rehabilitation.
      • Eisenhower rehabilitation.
      • Graham Road rehabilitation.
      • Cooner utility rehabilitation.
    • Key Wastewater System Treatment and Plant Projects
      • Carters Creek centrifuge improvements.
      • Carters Creek structures coating replacement.
      • Lick Creek generator replacement.
      • Carters Creek headworks catwalk.
      • Carters Creek fueling station.
      • Lick Creek raw lift pumps.
      • SCADA – New lift stations.
      • Carters Creek electrical improvements.
      • Aggie Acres fiber optic conduit.

Sanitation Fund

The Sanitation Division of Public Works serves the city’s solid waste collection needs, including curbside recycling, brush and grass clipping collection, street sweeping, removal of waste and the provision of residential containers. Commercial services are also provided to local businesses and includes collection in small and large containers. Customers with greater volumes have the option of using roll-off containers that are serviced by front load collection equipment.

  • Revenues: $8,839,711
    • Includes 15 percent rate increase for commercial customers.
    • Includes $403,910 from BVSWMA to offset debt service payment.
  • Expenditures: $8,609,503
    • Operating expenditures and transfers: $7,657,521
    • Includes proposed service level adjustment (see Monday’s blog).
    • Includes proposed Keep Brazos Beautiful funding: $52,740
    • Includes pay plan proposal.
    • Transfer to General Fund: $722,034
    • Transfer in for street sweeping: ($217,401)
    • ERP system replacement: $43,439
    • Debt service (offset with revenue from BVSWMA): $403,910

Drainage Fund

Like all the city’s enterprise funds, the goal of the drainage fund is to provide a quality service at a reasonable cost.

  • Revenues: $2.14 million
    • Drainage Utility Fee Revenues
  • Expenditures: $2.99 million
    • Operations and maintenance : $1.74 million
    • Includes drainage maintenance operations.
    • Includes proposed service level adjustments: $136,586 (see Monday’s blog)
    • Includes pay plan proposal.
  • Capital Project Expenditure Projections: $1,213,642
    • Greenways projects.
    • Minor drainage improvements.
    • Wolf Pen Creek erosion control Phase II.
    • Southland drainage improvements.
    • Drainage Master Plan.
  • Capital Transfer to CIP: $28,959
    • ERP system replacement.

Northgate Parking Fund

The Northgate Parking Fund accounts for parking operations in the Northgate District, including the surface parking lot on Patricia Street, the College Main Parking Garage and on-street parking. FY15 proposed parking fee revenues are about $1.19 million and proposed revenues from fines are $215,506. A Northgate parking rate fee adjustment was implemented on peak rates and special events in 2013 to support the Northgate Parking Fund while having a minimal impact on Northgate businesses.

  • Revenues: $1.41 million
    • No change in parking rates.
    • Assume parking fines remain relatively flat.
  • Expenditures: $1.42 million
    • Parking operations and maintenance: $499,991
    • Non-parking activities: $192,426
    • Reimbursed by General Fund.
    • Includes pay plan proposal.
    • Debt service: $466,375
    • Northgate Parking Garage projects: $315,365

Tax Rate Public Hearing

The council unanimously voted to conduct a public hearing on the tax rate on Sept 3 at city hall., and a public hearing on both the budget and tax rate on Sept. 11.

What’s Ahead

Wednesday’s final budget workshop will focus on other funds and the proposed tax rate. Adoption of the budget is set for Sept. 22.

—Public Communications Office

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