No Increase in Water and Sewer Usage Rates Next Year
Water, wastewater and solid waste usage rates will remain the same in the budget approved today by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission. The 2019-2020 fiscal year budget takes effect July 1.
Rates for water and sewer service will remain relatively stable with no increase in the amount charged for consumption (the amount used). A slight increase in the readiness-to-serve charge (base charge) is the sole change for most residents, with an increase of $1.02 per month for the average customer. There is no increase in solid waste disposal fees. Tax revenue is not used to fund the department’s services.
The readiness-to-serve charge is determined by meter size rather than usage and covers a portion of fixed costs associated with providing customers with clean and safe service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The water and wastewater operations budget is $92,146,330, which is a 5.3% decrease from FY 2018-2019, primarily due to a reduction in debt-service payments. The budget includes funding for a new state-mandated cross connection control program for backflow protection, as well as supplies and services for plant and field operations. Other changes include an increase in system development fees for new water and wastewater installation, and irrigation charges are set at a uniform rate.
The capital improvement budget for water and wastewater is $66,750,000 and includes modernization of the R.W. Neilson Water Treatment Plant, continued work on the collection system improvement program, and wastewater basin capacity improvements.
Rates will remain unchanged at both Hanes Mill Road and Old Salisbury Road landfills, as well as the Forum 52 and Overdale yard waste facilities. An upward trend in revenue is expected to cover a 5.7% increase in the solid waste operations budget, set at $11,356,870. The budget for capital improvements in the solid waste division is $1,291,000 and includes appropriations for design and construction projects at Hanes Mill Road Landfill.
Utilities Director Courtney Driver said, “It’s our job to provide you with safe and reliable water, wastewater and solid waste services and we were happy to balance our budget for the next year without increasing usage rates. The capital projects in this budget will maintain and update critical infrastructure allowing us to protect both your health and the environment.”
For more information, contact CityLink Online or call 311 or 336-727-8000.
About WSFC Utilities: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities provides high-quality water, sewer and solid waste services through responsible use of resources, reliable delivery and stewardship of the environment. Administrative offices are located in Winston-Salem City Hall with management by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission, formed by a joint consolidation agreement in 1976.