Franklin Countys First News

Increases in 2015 Wilton water budget reviewed

The RBC treatment system at the plant, in 2012. (Photo by Wastetreatment Department)

The RBC treatment system at the plant, in 2012. (Photo by Wastetreatment Department)

WILTON - The water budget for 2015, recently reviewed and accepted by the selectboard, is up  over the current budget, with an incremental increase to rate payers expected to come in 2016.

Clayton Putnam, superintendent of Wilton's water and waste treatment departments, is proposing a budget total of $516,228 for 2015. The 2014 budget  was set at $462,604. The increase totals $53,624 or 11.6 percent.

Ongoing reduced water consumption by the North Jay Water District and the number of vacant properties in Wilton account for the major decline in overall revenue, Putnam said.

In millions of gallons of water pumped per year, a peak was set  in 2012 with 176.39 gallons. Since then, a steady decrease was seen in 2013 to total 138.51 gallons and 2014 is estimated to total 117.36 gallons.

In 2014, revenue is expected to total $476,115, but for 2015, he projects revenue to total $470,292.

Included in the next budget is a proposal to replace the department's 2003 four-wheel drive half-ton truck purchased used in 2005 with another for $20,000. "This vehicle has been limping along the last few years and is terminally ill," Putnam said.

Other budget highlights include $ 21,600, in year three of a five-year plan, to convert to the water meter “radio read” system. In addition to saving meter reading time, "The meters can detect water leaks and it will be wonderful when everyone has one," Putnam said.

To pay for increases in the coming year, Putnam is proposing to use $45,936 of the department's cash flow reserves. This action, if approved, estimates that the total cash reserve as of Dec. 31, 2015 will be $400,793.

For 2016, he is recommending that a rate increase be developed during 2015 and implemented Jan. 1, 2016.  Putnam told the selectboard he had no figures on what the increase may be yet, but it would be implemented "incrementally," he said.

If a water customer has a water or sewer problem to report to the department, Putnam recommended calling the dispatch center at 778-6140. He stressed the 911 emergency number should not be used to report a water problem.







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