Parkersburg Utility Board approves $17M budget

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Utility Board unanimously approved the proposed $17 million 2019-20 budget Wednesday.

The spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1 passed on a 4-0 vote, with board member Paul Hoblitzell absent. The only changes made were a handful of revisions from Manager Eric Bennett.

The total capital budget increased by $32,500 with the addition of $20,000 for concrete and drainage replacements at the wastewater treatment plant’s maintenance facility, according to a memo from Bennett to the board. The capital budget for the water side rose by a net of $12,500 after the lab equipment costs decreased by $7,500 and a backwash meter replacement project was removed, saving $10,000.

The replacement of a feeder for chemicals used in the treatment process went up by $20,000 and $10,000 was added for valve maintenance equipment.

The total capital expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year are budgeted at $3,135,000. That will include a leak survey, repairs to a leaking water line beneath Garfield Avenue and replacement of at least one sodium hyrdochlorite tank at the wastewater plant, Bennett has said.

The amount is up slightly from the current fiscal year’s budgeted $2.89 million, but the actual expenditures for the year are projected to tally a little under $1.7 million.

Bennett said some potential, routine repairs are budgeted every year that may wind up being needed and some projects may not be ready until after the fiscal year ends.

Employees will receive a 2.8 percent salary increase in the new fiscal year, based on the federal Social Security cost-of-living adjustment. That added $108,000 to the budget.

Water and sewer rates are budgeted to remain flat in 2019-20, but Bennett has told board members he anticipates requesting a water rate increase for the 2020-21 fiscal year in anticipation of future projects that need to be done.