As of March 1, the Prestonsburg City Utilities Commission raised their rates by 12 percent. The decision was made by the commission at their meeting on Feb. 28.
“At our January meeting, we discussed where we stood financially,” said Superintendent Brian Music. “We were at a significant loss for the year to date” he said. Music said their fiscal year began on July 1.
“ We ended up pulling all of our expenses, and doing a projection based on current variances in expenses,” Music said. “By June 30th, the end of our fiscal year, we are potentially looking at being around a $700,000 deficit as far as funding goes.
“We went through everything, and there has not been any abnormal expenses. All of the expenses are direct operational expenses” Music said. “Chemicals are up around $260,000, just in the first six months. They are killing us.”
Any analysis, he said, indicated the district needed the increase.
“We did an analysis to see what it would take to cover those expenses, which resulted in an increase of 12 percent on water and sewer per 100 gallons” Music said. “So, the average bill of someone who has both water and sewer, on a 4,000 gallon average, will go up around $9. If they only have water, it should go up about $4.50.
“We used 4,000 gallons because we averaged all of our residential customers, and 4,000 is typical,” he continued. “There may be folks who use around 1,000 gallons a month, or a larger family may use 6,000 gallons a month. However, around 4,000 gallons a month is typically what we see residential-wise.”
Music said the district tries to prevent increases through spending practices.
“We try to be as efficient as we can with our spending. If we don’t need it, we don’t get it” Music said.
He also said the district checks with multiple suppliers before making a purchase in order to get the best deal possible. “ These are the things that keep the water flowing and the sewer running,” he said. “It’s beyond our control, we have to have them.”