Minutes of the January 12 special joint meeting of City Council and Financial Advisory Committee yielded this:

Mr. Espiritu discussed the fund balances along with suggestions to make them sustainable. He recommended that the General Fund build up a 25% fund balance with the City setting aside 5% per year over a 5-year period. Also, the Water Fund should attain a 25% balance with rate raises over a four-year period.

The Water Division has an FY 2010 budget of $4.8 million (PDF pp. 95-97), which incidentally matches up pretty well to the projected water sales revenues. However, it costs only $2.8 million to operate the Water Division. Where does the other $2 million go?

$850,000 goes to debt service
$550,000 is set aside for capital improvements
$500,000 is transferred to the General Fund
$25,000 goes to the Property & Liability Insurance Fund

Part of the General Fund transfer is meant to pay for a billing clerk, which would make more sense if Water weren’t already paying a worker who is assigned to the DeKalb-Taylor Municipal Airport. In fact, since the airport additionally sucks at least $250,000 annually from the General Fund, I figure it would be more honest just to transfer from Water directly to DTMA.

The City of DeKalb is planning to raise water rates each year for the next four years, and when it does each hike will be accompanied by a sob story. Don’t you believe them for a second. We already are paying for a lot more than just water.

Original Water Games