The annual public hearing on the Rolla Municipal Utilities budget was short and sweet Tuesday afternoon.It was sweet because the budget includes no rate increases. Moreover, the budget was built with the intention of continuing the discounts adopted by the board last year at this time.
The annual public hearing on the Rolla Municipal Utilities budget was short and sweet Tuesday afternoon.
It was short because, despite the decision by the Board of Public Works to start its monthly meeting an hour later to give the public a chance to attend and comment, no ratepayer showed up.
It was sweet because the budget includes no rate increases. Moreover, the budget was built with the intention of continuing the discounts adopted by the board last year at this time.
“There are no rate changes,” said RMU General Manager Rodney Bourne, “so we don’t have to worry about that.”
He added, “We are continuing the power and water cost adjustments of 6 percent.” That adjustment on the books results in “just right at $1.4 million savings to our customers.”
The budget foresees fiscal 2018 operating revenue of $29,713,572, slightly higher than the current projected finish of fiscal 2017, $29,277,869, the first year of the discounted rates. The year before that, fiscal 2017, actual operating revenue was $30,822,271.
Operating expenses for fiscal 2018 are predicted to be $31,607,232. The projected finish for the current fiscal year is $30,411,285. For fiscal year 2016, the actual operating expenses were $30,049,288.
The total operating income, or budgeted operating margin for fiscal year 2018 is a shortfall of $1,893,660. The current year is projected to end in the red by $1,133,366. For fiscal year 2016, the actual margin was a positive $173,573.
Added to the margin will be the non-operating revenue from interest and other sources. For fiscal year 2018, that figure is budgeted at $1,228,400. The current year is projected to end with non-operating revenue of $557,477. Fiscal year 2016 recorded an actual total of $1,855,469 for non-operating revenue.
Net loss of $665,260 for fiscal 2018 is budgeted It is projected to be a loss of $575,889 for the current fiscal year. Net income for fiscal 2016 was $2,029,042.
The budget summary analysis shows a transfer of $3,534,261.
“The bottom line is a $3.5 million change in cash,” Bourne said.
He noted that “a lot of the budget depends on our power supply cost,” but he added that the MoPEP pool to which RMU belongs has done a good job of managing costs.
“We’ve had a very good success the last several years to keep that steady,” he said, of the power supply costs.
Summarizing, Bourne said next fiscal year’s budget is similar to that of this fiscal year.
“It’s kind of consistent with how things are gong,” he said.
The budget will be presented to the Rolla City Council and adopted by the Board of Public Works before the fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
In other new business:
* The board approved the low bid of $58,037.50 from Donald Maggi Inc. for the Sally Road water main installation project.
* The board approved a bid from Investment Realty to manage the rental office in the Tucker Professional Building. The company submitted the sole bid of 10 percent fee on the rental for five years.
* A change in the policy regarding the disposal of utility assets was approved. This will allow more options in disposing of used trucks and heavy equipment by allowing the general manager to use an independent auction service rather than seeking sealed bids. The policy had specified the auction service as govdeals.com. In addition, the new policy allows disposal of unneeded assets by assigning a market value and selling through posts on the RMU Facebook page or a notice in the RMU business office lobby.