OWASA Board invites comments on proposed budget and rates in public hearings on May 25th

Monday, May 15, 2017 1:03:00 PM

All citizens are cordially invited to comment in the OWASA Board’s public hearings on the proposed budget, rates and capital program on Thursday, May 25th.

The hearings will be part of the Board meeting to begin at 7 PM in the Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The proposed budget for July 2017 through June 2018 has no increase in monthly water, sewer or reclaimed water rates. If this proposal is approved after the public hearings, Fiscal Year 2018 would be the sixth consecutive year with no increase in monthly rates.

For a single-family residence with an individual meter, the monthly bill for 4,000 gallons of water and sewer service would continue to be $70.66. A summary of proposed rates is available here or by going to www.owasa.org, clicking on About OWASA and then Performance and Financial Information.

Some other fees, including one-time system capacity or “service availability” fees when a property is first connected to OWASA’s system, are proposed to change.

The proposed budget includes:

  • $21.9 million for operating costs, a 4.5% increase over the prior year’s budget.
  • $15.2 million for capital projects, such as replacing, renewing and improving water and sewer pipes and initial funding to install Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a project expected to be completed in about two years.
  • $1.2 million for vehicles and other equipment.
  • $6.9 million for principal and interest payments on bonds and loans. (OWASA periodically sells bonds to help pay for long-lived capital investments.)

Strategic investments for the coming year include:

  • AMI, which will enhance OWASA’s ability to help customers identify leaks and allow customers with internet access to monitor water use including setting up customized automated notifications to alert them of unusual water use.
  • Investments in energy efficiency to reduce OWASA’s use of conventional fuels and related greenhouse gas emissions.

The time limit for comments in the hearing is four minutes per speaker, unless otherwise determined by the Board of Directors, but more detailed comments are invited by e-mail to board_and_leadership@owasa.org or by letter to Andrea Orbich, Clerk to the Board, 400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro, NC 27510. Comments received by OWASA are public records under State law.

The public hearings will be carried live on local cable channels 18, 97.4 and 1303 and on AT&T U-verse channel 99 (go to channel 99, select Chapel Hill Gov-TV and hit OK) and live streamed on the Town of Chapel Hill website’s Board Videos page here (https://tinyurl.com/lfmryav).

For more information about the proposed budget and capital program, and the detailed schedule of proposed rates, please click here or go to OWASA’s Performance and Financial Information webpage.

For more information: