The Goleta Water District Board of Directors approved its fiscal year 2012-13 budget after two special board meetings, on May 15 and last Tuesday.
“This balanced budget demonstrates the district’s ongoing commitment to maintain and improve the water system on behalf of our customers,” Board President Bill Rosen said. “The district continues to make critical infrastructure investments, as called for in the district’s five-year Financial Plan, Cost-of-Service Study and Infrastructure Improvement Plan.”
For the upcoming year, expenditures are projected to be $29.9 million, a reduction of $412,000 from the proposed budget of $30.4 million submitted to the board. About $10.9 million, or 36 percent of that total, is spent to secure water to meet customer demand. The district will also invest $3.8 million on 26 capital improvement projects during 2012-13.
The budget also provides for a $500,000 contribution to the district’s Reserve Fund, further building resources in case of emergencies.
“The district has been operating without vital operating and capital reserves,” Rosen said. “Without reserves, that ratepayer is at risk and the district has little flexibility in an emergency. Our goal is $6 million in reserves. And we have sped up the process from our financial plan adopted last year.
“The district is taking a measured and prudent approach by prioritizing projects that reduce the risk of more costly future repairs, and improve the efficiency of our operations.”
Click here to view the budget online.
The Goleta Water District provides water to a diverse population of about 87,000 in the Goleta Valley area, including agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial and institutional customers. The district’s water system includes more than 270 miles of pipelines, a water treatment plant, storage reservoirs, pumping facilities, active wells, a recycled water system, and connections with Lake Cachuma and the State Water Project.
— David Matson is the assistant general manager for the Goleta Water District.