CPW Views Budget for 2019

The Laurens Commission of Public Works received its first official look at a 2019 budget during their November meeting last evening. Administrative Director Blake Davis presented next year’s operating budget, which includes a pay raise for employees and rate increases for customers.

The budget anticipates income of $30,817,000 for next year. Operations and maintenance expenses of $20,383,000 along with general and administrative expenses of $7,416,000 leave a net income of $3,018,000; but after applying $2,327,000 for capital recovery and debt retirement of $1,350,000 the working capital left over from that income is just $41,000.

The budget proposes a 3.25% pay increase for all employees, which Davis noted is in the local range of 3 to 3.5%.

The recommended rate increases in the budget include a monthly cost increase of 50 cents for electricity, a 75 cents monthly increase for outdoor lighting, an additional 25 cents a month for natural gas, and the biggest increase being an additional $3.65 per month in water bills. The figures used in preparing the budget were based, in part on findings from an independent rate study that were presented to Blake Davis last Friday. The complete report of the study was presented to the Commissioners last night by Steve Shurbutt of GDS Services, Atlanta.

The 2019 budget is not finalized until it/s voted on at the December meeting of the Laurens C.P.W.