November 30, 2016
As a Board and staff, we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on recent events within the water system and let you know about future events as well. Since 2010, the Board has expended over $14 million in capital improvements. This work is part of a long range capital plan that is spread over multiple phases and years. Projects completed so far have targeted new EPA and ADEM requirements, well refurbishment, improving overall treatment reliability, and treatment plant upgrades. Within the distribution system, work has focused on increasing the overall distribution capacity from the plant with larger transmission mains and improving the level of service to existing customers by replacing older leaking, break prone PVC water mains. We are proud to say that projects completed thus far have been completed within budget. Financing for these projects has been through low interest loans, refinancing of existing debt, and savings realized from increased efficiencies in overall system operations. Work is continuing and the Board expects several major projects to be completed in 2017.
Several events have occurred in 2016 that have not only reinforced the Board’s decision 7 years ago to proceed with these improvements but have also highlighted the results of these efforts. Central Alabama is currently experiencing an extreme drought. Several water systems in Alabama have been forced to implement water rationing because water supplies have been insufficient to keep up with customer demands. Through careful management of our water supply resources, the WRWA system has endured this drought without having to impose surcharges or water rationing requirements on our customers. The ample supply of water to our customers has been a direct result of our efforts over the last 7 years.
The final component of the Board’s mission is to provide service at a reasonable price. A critical part of meeting this mission is the active management of the Board’s financing and the rates charged to its customers. Board spending is governed by a budget adopted each fiscal year. Actual versus budgeted spending is tracked continuously and reviewed monthly.
The Board also reviews and adjusts its rates annually as required to meet the anticipated needs of the system. January, 2017 will mark the third anniversary of the last rate adjustment to the WRWA rate structure. The annual rate review has recently been completed. Based on the anticipated needs of the system, the Board has adopted a change to the rate structure that will become effective in 2017. Beginning in January, WRWA’s rate structure will be modified to reduce the amount of water in the minimum bill bracket from 1000 gallons per month to 500 gallons per month. In January, 2018, the minimum bill bracket will be eliminated and an availability charge will be applied to all accounts and customers will be charged for all water consumed at the Board’s standard rate. No changes have been made to the Board’s per 1000 gallon charges for water provided. For a typical customer, this will result in an increase of $3.32 per month for 2017.
We look forward to serving you in the future. If you have any questions concerning this or your water service in general, we encourage you to call our office at 205-491-7720 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greylan K. Glaze