Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

CWSA OKs budget with rate hike

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Approved $3.7 million pact includes $5 quarterly increase for households

John Schreiner, Coplay-Whitehall Sewer Authority board chairman, released the 2018 budget at the regular meeting Dec. 21, 2017. Residential households will see the base charge for sanitary sewer increase from $40 per quarter to $45. Commercial users will see a similar increase.

Revenues from all sources are projected to be $3,769,500. The expenses are broken down as a little over $1 million for administrative expenses and $2.7 million for operational expenses.

The biggest expenses for the board are salaries and benefits. The benefits package cost exceeds the cost of wages. Insurance expense of $80,700 covers buildings and workers compensation. The CWSA building and garage cost $56,500 to maintain. Accounting services at $21,000 and legal services at $76,000 round out the expenses for administration.

Under operational expenses, salaries and wages take up $340,000 of the $2.7 million allocation. Engineering costs add another $13,000.

The biggest expense is $430,200 for system repairs and maintenance. Each of the outlying pump stations incur some additional costs, but these are primarily unmanned stations that report to a central monitoring point.

CWSA is expected to turn over $1,250,000 to the Lehigh County Authority (LCA) for wastewater treatment. According to Schreiner, CWSA’s system is in good shape and meets EPA requirements. CWSA has made significant improvements in the system to reduce inflow and infiltration into the system.

The improvements come at a cost. Included in the budget is $550,800 for interest and principal on the outstanding debt.

The capital budget has about $500,000 in revenues. New income is from investments and tapping fees. Other income is based on project payments. Capital expenditures are projected at $2.2 million.

CWSA has received high marks from its auditors for the effective financial management of the system.