2015 has been a busy year for the Clinton Water District. We were fortunate to receive a grant of $190,000.00 to assist in replacing and upgrading the original 1947 sewer lines along Pearl, Morrison and Pleasant Streets. The total project cost for this work was $671,032.91. We have also refinanced our current debt to take advantage of the very low interest rates, this has helped us reduce our costs and shorten the term on our existing loans. We have also taken other steps to reduce costs such as install a heat pump in the office building. This has reduced our costs for heating and cooling in the office.
The District however, faces huge challenges ahead. We do not have great opportunities for expansion. As such, our customer base is relatively fixed. In recent years however, due to things such as the CMP transmission line project, our customer base is actually declining. This results in fewer customers to share the costs of operating the District. Our operating costs are slowly increasing. We also have several capital projects that must get done in the near future such as painting the stand pipe. We continually inspect the interior of the tank and recent reports are noting that the tank in showing signs of rusting. This is an expensive process. Budget number for this work range from $250-$300,000. As part of our last rate increase, we have made provisions allocating monies to capital projects such as this but we have a long way to go. We will also need to replace our current service pickup truck which is now 15 years old and not in good condition. There are also other areas of the system that need to be upgraded as they are getting to be 70± years old. These are but a few of the issues that we face. We have made great strides thus far but there is a lot left to do.
The long and short of it is that we will be requesting a rate increase in the near future to address some of these rising costs. We look to keep the increases as small as possible but increases are inevitable. The staff and Trustees are committed to doing everything possible to keeps costs as low as possible, deliver the highest quality water and provide the best in service to our rate payers.
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