Commentary: GDPUD Budget many "Compromises"
I went to the June 17 GDPUD budget meeting. I guess it could be best described as many compromises.
The new ALT treatment plant is a separate budget from the operations budget presented. This project requires a 20-year loan needing to be obtained to finance the plant.
Many cuts have already been made such as legal and office supplies.
No funding has been going to a capital improvement fund for actual planned district improvements for years other than the water treatment plant that we have been waiting 11 years for. Yet this account has not increased greatly over the years. Reserve accounts such as rate stabilization was dissolved around 2004; this fund’s specific purpose was to fill in for loss of revenue in events as the drought we are going through right now. This fund could have saved the district many budget issues we are now facing. At that the same time, many accounts were combined to one capital improvement fund to pay for the Greenwood Lake Water Treatment Plant that was never built but cost the district over $1 million with a partial portion paid for with the EPA grant.
Each year the budget provided a list of capital improvement projects and no funding to complete any of the projects. This year a specific amount was placed in an account to pay for these projects, separate from the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant. The board also set up specific reserve funds to meet future unknown needs.
The district according to the budget committee was still $110,000 short. The board has already cut where they could and we are getting some real good value spent on the IGM’S and things like the well-versed budget committee that works for free. The board directed the IGM to look at all the operating expenses and make $110,000 in cuts. To make the additional cuts, there are ideas like shift changes to reduce overtime.
The district has a real balanced budget and will finally get some capital improvement projects done this fiscal year. The issue still remains that the funding to provide service is lacking and there are more projects to be completed then there is funding — lack of regular maintenance over the years.