Saturday, November 18, 2017

Water Fund Dries Up: No Rebates Again for Citizens


A cold, dry wind blew $2.2 million from the City of San Angelo's main water fund.  It went from nearly $5.8 million as of September 30th to $3.6 million, according to city finance staff.

The Water Operations Fund estimated fund balance (after estimated year-end adjustments and carryovers) as of September 30, 2017, is $3,585,477 (unaudited).
The memo to City Council refers to a fund that does not exist in accounting documents.

What does exist is the Water Enterprise Fund.  As of 9-30-17 it showed:

The first question is what happened to the $2.2 million?  Staff should clearly explain any adjustments or carryovers to Council and the public.

The goal for the water operations fund is 75 days of expense budget, or $4,781,532.
The goal is to have 75 days cash to meet operating expenses, which came in at $18.8 million for 2016-2017.  The city's water enterprise budget was $4.5 million higher than it actually spent.

Council could consider a different analysis using the City's Bluebook numbers, one that would produce a small rebate for customers.

This is an accounting discussion that involves operational definitions, what numbers mean and how they are figured. City Council's tacking this item will be informative for citizens.

The water rebate comes after two other water related items, raising the deposit for an account by 186% to $100 for most new users and charging 18% interest on late bills.  These are items G and H on the regular agenda.  The water rebate is item L, the last item on the regular agenda.

Most citizens don't have time to show up to council to share their thoughts, especially for items at the end of the regular agenda.  Should any of these issues be important to you please contact your city council person.

Update 11-24-17:  Members of City Council asked no questions on this topic.  Their silence can be viewed here starting at 1:51:25..

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