Thursday, December 27, 2018

Water Fund Balance at FY End Reaches $10.3 Million

The City's Water Enterprise Fund performed $4.6 million over expectations by selling $2.33 million more water than budgeted and spending $2.28 million less than expected.  City Council heard this information in early December.  Not one Council member asked about the Water Enterprise fund balance which has a target of 75 days revenue. 

As of September 30, 2018 the City held over $10.3 million in the Water Enterprise Fund.  That's over 135 days of budgeted revenue sitting in city coffers.  City leaders believe this excess capital is necessary for future water plant upgrades and its plans to re-purpose the city's wastewater for public consumption.

It rained millions more dollars into city coffers while area rains blessed local lakes.  Twin Buttes Reservoir currently holds over 120,000 acre feet and is up over 35 feet.  Tom Green County farmers have rights to 25,000 acre feet per year as long as Twin Buttes holds at least 50,000 acre feet of water. 

Those farmers were happy with the City's arrangement of providing treated wastewater for irrigation in lieu of drawing water from Twin Buttes.  That sentiment changed when the City pursued using treated effluent for potable water. 

For decades the city's stance on its abysmal maintenance of Twin Buttes was "it has no water."  That clearly has changed.  

The city has lots of water to sell.  So far City Council has been silent on most of these developments.  What might the New Year bring in the way of public discussion?  For a dammed lake there are lots of swirling undercurrents.

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