ONLINE UPDATE: CFPUA proposes rate increase, new rate structure

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

 The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Financial Committee will present a residential rate increase and a proposed new uniform rate structure with a conservation block to the authority board on March 13, before a public hearing.

Based on needs, CFPUA staff is looking at a 4 percent rate increase, which would produce 3 percent in revenue, said Cheryl Spivey, chief financial officer.

A new rate structure for fiscal year 2014 could cause a portion of the increase to shift.

The increase would raise the average customer’s bimonthly bill, of 10,000 gallons of water and sewer, from $119.29 to $129.09, for an estimated annual increase of $58.80.

The 6 p.m. March 13 meeting will begin with Spivey giving a breakdown of the three rate structure scenarios that the finance committee has looked at, with a recommendation for scenario A.

Scenario A has been modified since the last finance committee meeting, and would include a uniform rate except for the first 6,000 gallons of residential usage, which would charge 85 percent the cost of water.

“There’s no increase in the water fixed charge,” Spivey said.

The fixed charge would remain at $25.81.

A 9.8 percent increase for block one would bring rates from $2.64 to $2.90. A 7.3 percent decrease for block two would bring rates from $3.96 to $3.67.

Scenario B is a uniform rate, and scenario C has a four-tiered structure, including under 6,000, 6,001-12,000, 12,001-24,000 and 24,000 plus gallons.

Spivey said the majority of the 3 percent revenue increase would come from growth and water customers.

Non-residential data was never included in the research analysis, she added.

The March 13 meeting will be held in the Lucie Harrell Conference Room in the New Hanover County Administration Building.

The CFPUA board will vote on the rate proposals at the April meeting.


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