On Thursday night, the OWASA Board of Directors adopted the budget for services and projects from July 2013 through June 2014.

For the second consecutive year, OWASA’s budget includes no increase in monthly rates for water, sewer or reclaimed water services. For a typical single-family residence, the monthly bill will continue to be $70.66 for 4,000 gallons of water and sewer service.

Some other charges, such as fees for meter installation, will increase in October based on updated cost data. A summary of current and October 2013 rates is available by clicking here or visiting www.owasa.org. OWASA has cost-of-service rates, which means that fees for a given service are based on the cost of providing the service.

The OWASA Board is updating its Strategic Plan and is reviewing policies and assumptions used in developing annual budgets and rates. The affordability of the community’s water and sewer services is a high priority.

The adopted budget includes:

  • $19.1 million for operations, which include personnel, maintenance and material costs.
  • $16 million for capital investments such as replacing, renewing and improving pipes, treatment facilities, etc.
  • $7.9 million for repaying long-term bond debt. (OWASA periodically sells bonds to help pay for long-lived capital investments.)
  • $650,000 for rate stabilization and capital improvement reserves; and
  • $525,000 for capital equipment.

There are no service changes or new positions. The budget includes funding for merit pay but the Board will decide the amount (percentage of payroll) later this year.

Additional budget and rate information is available by clicking here or by going to www.owasa.org, clicking on About OWASA and then clicking on Performance and Financial Information.

Efficiency improvements and cost reductions in recent years 

  • 12% reduction in workforce from Fiscal Year 2004 to Fiscal Year 2013.
  • 2010 refinancing of $22 million of bond debt, for savings of about $2 million over 17 years.
  • Improvements in wastewater treatment process in 2010 to reduce chemical use, for savings of about $300,000 annually.
  • Energy cost reduction in the biological treatment process at Mason Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant (project which began in March, 2013), for estimated annual savings of $125,000 after completion of project.
  • Interest-free loan from the State of North Carolina for project at Mason Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant, for $1.7 million in savings over 20 years compared to cost of conventional bond financing.
  • Paperless billing option (began in October, 2010) to reduce mailing and paper costs.

For more information:

Ed Kerwin, Executive Director, 919-537-4211 or ekerwin@owasa.org