With unanimous approval by the Fayetteville Public Works Commission on Wednesday, the city’s hometown utility has a new budget that totals $428.8 million, more than $5 million above its spending plan last year.
PWC held a public hearing on the budget at its Wednesday morning meeting, but no one spoke during the hearing or submitted written comments beforehand.
Most of the funding in the budget comes from revenue generated by the electric division, which totals $275.4 million. The remaining $153.4 million comes from water and sewer revenue.
The larger budget is due, in part, to an increase in electricity, water and sewer rates approved by the board earlier this year, CityView previously reported.
PWC officials have cited inflationary pressures to justify the higher rates.
“I’m not sure how much longer we can blame stuff on the supply chain and inflation, but it doesn’t look like it’s going away,” interim CEO Mick Noland said during Wednesday’s meeting when summarizing the budget ahead of the vote.
Noland has previously said that PWC costs will balloon further when the utility must install new filtration technology at its plants to comply with upcoming regulations on per- and -polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in drinking water. That upgrade is estimated to cost $73 million to install filtration technology and another $12 million annually to maintain the new system, CityView reported.
Ben Sessoms covers Fayetteville and education for CityView. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.