A new budget for the next fiscal year was approved at Tuesday’s meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board meeting.
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Staff project revenues of a little over $4 million and expenses of $4.2 million, leaving a deficit of $147,000 for the 2012-13 fiscal year. However the district expects to receive a payment of $65,751 from a water agency agreement that will reduce the deficit. In addition, it expects to receive at least $90,000 in additional revenue once the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has its license renewed. However the timeline of when that will happen was uncertain so that revenue was not included in next year’s budget.
Deficits were also projected for the next four years, however those were expected to be smaller and could be covered by the projected revenue from SMUD.
Salaries and compensation for staff, particularly management, came up during the meeting. Included in the budget package prepared by Mary Pat Frick, business finance manager, was information from a compensation survey done last year that concluded that the “… District’s compensation was on average 10 percent below the competition … The salary schedule for all employees was frozen in 2012 and management’s has been frozen for five years.”
Board member Bonnie McLane took exception to the report stating that “staff are not underpaid and the editorializing in Mary Pat’s report should be removed.” McLane went on to say that the district would be paying more into the California Public Employees’ Retirement System in the future “because it is $180 billion in the red statewide. I’m just thinking it’s going to be a huge expenditure and there will be a change in PERS.”
Board member Bonnie Neeley responded by saying that “The budget is flat and we need to decide what we pay staff against the level of service to be provided.” She suggested that spending on capital expenditures should be spread over a longer period of time and decisions should be made regarding what projects can be put off and what ones could be done with existing staff.
Hank White, General Manager, said he didn’t think they could tackle and complete all the capital improvement projects with the existing staff levels.
The board then voted four to one, with board member Kathy Otermat voting no, to accept the new budget. They also agreed to revisit the budget every three months.
In a separate decision, the board decided to keep the cost of connecting to the district’s water system at the same rate it was for the fiscal year 2011-12, which is $9,200 for most households. The fee for connecting larger meters would also remain the same as they were for 2011-12. The board will review the connection charges again next year.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.