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PWC to hold public hearing on next year’s budget, which will increase spending

$428.8 million plan would be $5 million more than the budget approved last year


Fayetteville Public Works Commission customers will have a chance to make their voices heard on their hometown utility’s recommended budget for next year, which totals $428.8 million. That’s $5 million more than the budget approved last year.

PWC will hold a public hearing on the 2024 budget at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The hearing will be at the PWC offices at 955 Old Wilmington Road during the board’s regular meeting.

To speak during the hearing, residents must sign up with their name and address before the meeting starts on Wednesday. Sign-up is available in person, by fax at 910-829-0207, by email at pwcboard@faypwc.com, or before the meeting in the PWC boardroom between 8 and 8:30 a.m.

The increase in the budget, PWC Chief Financial Officer Rhonda Haskins said during a board meeting earlier this month, is due in part to increased electric, water and sewer rates for customers starting this month. The new rates will impose an additional cost of $13 monthly on the typical household, CityView reported.

Haskins said the increased rates will cover costs that have increased because of inflation, some that are related to large construction projects underway by the N.C. Department of Transportation.

“Their estimates that came back were significantly higher” compared to prior estimates, Haskins said.

Future budgets could balloon higher, said PWC interim CEO Mick Noland at the meeting in early May, citing costs associated with upcoming federal regulations on per- and -polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in drinking water.

Noland has previously estimated that it will cost $73 million to install filtration technology at PWC’s water plants to comply with the new regulations. It’s estimated to cost another $12 million annually to maintain the new system, CityView reported.

“Once those regulations and those new drinking water standards have come into effect and become enforceable,” Noland said at this month’s meeting, “the clock will start ticking for us to install treatment units to comply with those new limits.”

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Ben Sessoms covers Fayetteville and education for CityView. He can be reached at bsessoms@cityviewnc.com.



Fayetteville, electricity, Public Works Commission, utilities