By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Just like many localities, the town of Dublin is coming up short on revenues to cover proposed expenditures during the coming 2013-14 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Town Manager Bill Parker said Dublin has the potential for a shortfall of almost $184,000 that will have to be addressed to reach a balanced budget for the coming year. A large portion of that shortfall, almost $141,000, is in increased costs for water purchases from Pulaski County Public Service Authority.
The town was hit with a $98,000 water settlement bill from the PSA during the current fiscal year under its contract for water purchases. That brought the current fiscal year’s water costs to just over $608,000.
Water costs in the coming fiscal year are projected at just over $749,000 due to a newly negotiated purchase cost per 1,000 gallons of water, and another water settlement bill of almost $139,000 that will be due during the year. In order to avoid future surprise settlement bills, the town renegotiated its water purchase rate of $1.88 per 1,000 gallons to a flat rate of $2.25 per 1,000 gallons. This added about $100,000 to its annual cost to purchase just over 271 million gallons per year.
Other factors contributing to the shortfall, Parker said, include a $16,081 increase in health insurance costs; $19,100 for the town’s first payment on a new fire truck for Dublin Fire Department; $6,567 for increased sewer rates from Pepper’s Ferry Regional Wastewater Treatment Authority, and $793 in other insurance fee increases.
According to Parker, the town will have one final water settlement fee of just over $43,000 to pay in the 2013-14 fiscal year budget.