Friday, April 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

EID’s 2014 budget nearly flat

By
From page A1 | October 30, 2013 | 2 Comments

Two key factors affecting the “mid-cycle update” for the 2014 budget for the El Dorado Irrigation District are increased hookup fee collections and lower expenses as 2013 comes to a close. EID operates on a calendar-year budget, and budgets two years at a time.

Hookup fees, called Facility Capital Charges, for 2013 are $1 million higher than budgeted, according to Finance Director Mark Price, who also said Monday that projected year-end expenditures are expected to be $575,000 less than the adopted budget.

The two factors include savings of $358,000 in 2014 over the revised 2013 projected cost for Public Employees Retirement System payments by the district. Those payments were lowered after the employees agreed to pay the full amount of their portions of PERS, which the state’s pension reform law requires by 2018. EID employees agreed to fully implement the reform act’s provision this year rather than stretching it out over the next four years.

Total employee benefits are projected to be $11.019 million by Dec. 31 and $11.004 million in the revised 2014 budget. The savings on PERS helped offset increases to FICA and employer PERS assessments, Price reported. FICA is the Federal Insurance Compensation Act that funds Social Security and Medicare through payroll taxes.

The district’s revenue for 2013 was revised slightly upward to $75.787 million. The 2014 revenue budget was revised downward from $79 million to $76.333 million. Revised 2013 operating expenses were down almost $600,00 from budget but will be up about $1 million in the revised 2014 budget.

The debt services ratio in 2013 is projected to be 2.00 and 1.56 in 2014. The minimum required by bond holders is 1.25.

The budget outlook plus putting off to 2015 a new bond issue is leading EID staff to recommend dialing back the 2014 rate increase from 11 percent to 5 percent. The bond sales — $40 million to $60 million — will cover big-ticket long-term projects like the $18 million to raise Forebay Dam 10 feet and meet dam safety requirements, and $4.3 million to replace the Sly Park Intertie. The intertie is 3.4 miles of 20-inch waterline between Reservoir A and Reservoir 1 water treatment facilities. The steel-coated pipe was installed as part of a hurried drought relief project in 1977-78 and is now corroded.

Price is projecting FCC revenue to be $3 million each year from 2014 through 2018, which he called a conservative forecast.

Price also did alternative budgets based on no rate increase in 2014 and a 3 percent rate increase in 2014. Both of those scenarios would reduce cash available to pay for capital improvement projects from $8.7 million in 2014 to  $3.9 million and $5.63 million, respectively. To maintain that “pay-go” level at $8 million-$11 million would require 5 percent raises in each of the following years, but 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively in 2017.

Price’s budget projections call for 5 percent raises, though increased FCC collections could mean a rate hike less than 5 percent. Abercrombie reminded the board that failure to raise rates by small amounts in the past forced the district to do double-digit rate increases when new home construction came to a halt in 2007-2008.

“One thing …. we’re missing: What if we trimmed 3-5 percent?” asked Director Alan Day. “Would we have had to have these rate increases?”

“Right now we’re keeping it close to 2013 and are spending $2 million less than 2008,” said General Manager Jim Abercrombie. “I’m getting pretty good pushback from most of my staff  on (further cutbacks).”

Price added that the average fleet is 10 years old with 100,000-150,000 miles.

“What the board doesn’t see is (the higher budget). We’ve taken some of these reductions in before presenting it to the board,” Abercrombie said.

Director George Osborne asked,”Is there a number for ‘pay-go’ projects and put the extras into paying off the debt. It is has a tremendous effect, especially on our bond rating.”

Abercrombie said $10 million to $12 million cash to do annual projects is “the number I look for.”

Osborne asked about dedicating anything above that to prepayment of the debt.

“FCC revenue is an annual decision — to pay-go, reserve or bond,” Price said.

The revised 2014 budget was approved 4-1, with Day voting no.

Right after that the board unanimously approved putting $3 million into escrow to pay part of the 2004 bond coming due March 1, 2014. On that date the district will kick in an additional $2.25 million. That will leave a balance of $35.182 million on the 2004 bond, according to Price.

Another unanimous monetary action by the board was to approve a “headwaters benefit agreement” with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District that will bring in $30,000 in revenue to EID, with an annual inflation adjustment. The theory in this agreement that took 10 years to negotiate is that SMUD gains from EID releasing water into the South Fork of the American River that SMUD makes use of in its White Rock Powerhouse. PG&E also benefits at its Chili Bar Powerhouse, but that was waived as part of the sales agreement for Project 184.

The $30,000 figure was reached after an analysis of 12 years of hydro flows in Project 184, said EID engineer Jake Eymann.

One additional new revenue source is $24,000 annually for a cell tower on El Dorado Hills Water Treatment Plant, approved unanimously.

Michael Raffety

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

  • Phil VeerkampOctober 29, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    "“One thing …. we’re missing: What if we trimmed 3-5 percent?” asked Director Alan Day. “Would we have had to have these rate increases?”" ~~~ Director Day, EID's field staff is already bare bones. And sometimes they do not show up on customers' calls because "Fix-And-Repair-Daily" Fords are "Found-On-Road-Dead". It's really a bad day at EID when lines break and vehicles and equipment are "on the rack". Cut more, Mr. Day? Penny wise pound foolish.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • bobOctober 30, 2013 - 10:18 am

    What kind of cell tower , please.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Heard over the back fence: Advice offered writers

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Big marijuana find in EDH

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Jury: Sanford guilty of murder

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Initiative seeks roundabout vote

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Sheriff cracking down on Tahoe pot grows

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3

 
Burn permits required May 1

By Cal Fire | From Page: A7

County backs task force to reduce human trafficking

By Chris Daley | From Page: A13

 
5 years prison for child porn

By News Release | From Page: A14

A victim tells her story

By Chris Daley | From Page: A14

 
.

Opinion

 
Income inequality

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Billingsley’s Bullets: Marriage makes me laugh

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

What happened to ‘fair and balanced?’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 14 Comments

 
Red tape

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Is Ukraine in Asia, Europe or Latin America?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 20 Comments

 
Vote for Parlin

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

County and ‘Miwoks’ getting together

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Ray Nutting’s donation for DA

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

.

Sports

 
Brown leads Golden Sierra

By Rebecca Reddish | From Page: A9

Cougars 1, Grizzlies 1

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9

 
Cougars capitalize against Union Mine

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Troy unpends Davis

By Brandon Anicich | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
El Dorado wins tri-meet

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

D’backs drop the ‘Hammer’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9

 
El Dorado spikers blank D’backs

By Mike Bush | From Page: A10

Roundup: April 23, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

 
On tap

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

.

Prospecting

Amazing production brings the curtain down for Pete Miller

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Things to do: April 25, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Cool Beerwerks is very cool

By Krysten Kellum | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Placerville celebrates Earth Day

By News Release | From Page: B3

Handcar Derby to get pumping

By Folsom Handcar Derby | From Page: B3

 
IT presents a Reader’s Theater of ‘Our Town’

By Imagination Theater | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Enjoy spring with Steiner Road wineries

By Steiner Road Wineries | From Page: B4

 
Art and brew are a perfect pair

By News Release | From Page: B5

Spring cleaning is good

Press Release | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
Pinewood Derby rolls at Kniesel’s

Press Release | From Page: B6

The Sacramento Music Festival celebrates world-class music

By Sacramento Music Festival | From Page: B12

 
Oak Ridge Boys come to TJ’s Corral

By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B13

Folsom hosts Spring Antique Fair

By Folsom Historic District Association | From Page: B13

 
Viviana Guzman performs at Petroglyphe Gallery

By Petroglyphe Gallery | From Page: B13

Pioneer Jews of the Gold rush

By Folsom History | From Page: B14, 1 Comment

 
Time to join the El Dorado Community Concert Association

By El Dorado Community Concert Association | From Page: B14

.

Essentials

.

Obituaries

Frances Estelle Gilluly Fraulob

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Dorothy L. Irvin

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Jeanine Rae Henderson-Hodges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Thomas David Ewing

By Contributor | From Page: A2

John Lawrence Olson

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Jack O’Camb

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wesley M. Nyquist

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

Spring statistics suggest slower sales

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Time to spring outdoors and fix them up

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS7

Nation’s existing home sales remain soft

Press Release | From Page: HS20

 
.

Comics

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A11

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A11

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A11

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Horoscope, Friday, April 25, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A12

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A12

 
Horoscope, Sunday, April 27, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A12

Horoscope, Saturday, April 26, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A12

 
.

Home Source

Spring statistics suggest slower sales

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Time to spring outdoors and fix them up

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS7

Nation’s existing home sales remain soft

Press Release | From Page: HS20