During a special meeting on 11/20/2018, the Birch Bay Water & Sewer Commissioners voted to approve the proposed fiscal year 2019 budget. District Finance Director Sandi McMillan said “next year’s budget provides our growing District with a ten year planned Capital Improvement Program and a small increase in operating expenses”. The Commissioners approved the $6.2 million budget which includes an operating expense budget of $3.5 million, capital projects of $2.1 million and debt service payments of $595,480.
The Commissioners voted at a regular meeting on 12/13/2018 to approve the basic portion of the residential water and sewer bi-monthly bill will increase from $70.80 to $73.70. The rate increase for 2019 is approximately 4%. The increase to rates is needed to cover operating expenses and capital improvement needs.
Some of the planned major capital projects include:
• Retrofit the water reservoirs to prepare for potential earthquakes. This project should occur within a year and is approximately $500,000.
• Upgrade water meters to automated reading that will allow District Water Department staff to more efficiently read meters and alert customers to leaks. This project will occur over five to seven years and cost approximately $2 million in total. The District has budgeted $500,000 in 2019.
• The Wastewater Treatment Plant will receive a replacement ultra violet (UV) disinfection system to meet the continuous monitoring requirements in the Environmental Protection Agency National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. The cost to replace the UV system is budgeted at $373,000.
Dan Eisses, General Manager of the District said “the District employs thirteen staff and continues to meet or exceed all regulatory water and sewer compliance. The Commissioners and staff are what make this District run efficiently.”