Orange County

OWASA holds line on water, sewer rates in $21.9M operating budget

Water and sewer pipe repairs are included in the Orange Water and Sewer Authority’s $15.2 million capital improvements budget for 2017-18.
Water and sewer pipe repairs are included in the Orange Water and Sewer Authority’s $15.2 million capital improvements budget for 2017-18. File photo

Orange Water and Sewer Authority customers would pay the same rates for water and sewer service next year under the agency’s proposed 2017-18 budget.

OWASA’s Board of Directors will hold a public hearing on the $21.9 million operating budget – a 4.5 percent increase from this year – at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 25, in the Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

The hearing also will air on local cable channels 18, 97.4 and 1303, and on AT&T U-verse channel 99 (Select Chapel Hill Gov-TV and hit OK). Livestreaming also will be available at tinyurl.com/lfmryav.

The budget, if approved, would mark the sixth consecutive year with no increase in OWASA’s monthly rates.

It does change some fees, such as a one-time system capacity or “service availability” fee when a property is first connected to the system. However, a single-family home with an individual meter would continue to pay $70.66 a month for 4,000 gallons of water and sewer service.

You can find a summary of proposed rates at bit.ly/2pYVxSg.

OWASA also has budgeted $15.2 million for capital projects, such as replacing and improving water mains and pump stations, and a two-year, $6.1 million Advanced Metering Infrastructure project that will allow staff to read meters remotely and help customers monitor their water use and identify possible leaks.

Other proposed costs include $1.2 million for vehicles and equipment, and $6.9 million in debt payments.

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb

More information

Learn more about OWASA’s proposed rates and its budget and capital program at bit.ly/2q35mx4.

You can also email comments about the budget to board_and_leadership@owasa.org or mailed to: Andrea Orbich, Clerk to the Board, 400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro, NC 27510.

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