Water district revenue drops

With building starts lower than expected, revenue is down at the Point Roberts water district this year.

“It has been one of the slower years,” district manager Dan Bourks told commissioners at their November 9 meeting, reporting only seven new water connections in 2016. “I was hoping for 15 or 20. It’s always really a guess. Things seemed like they might be picking up, but it looks like I was wrong.”

With the exception of major developments, water connections in the previous five years have been around 10 annually.

At $8,740 each, the water connections that never were make up approximately $114,000 of the projected revenue shortfall, while no water sales to the golf course 2016 account for a shortfall of $33,000. Overall, revenues will fall short of the $1.55 million budget estimate by $178,000.

On the flip side, expenses are also down. With the possibility of having to replace one of the district’s major pumps, Bourks said he budgeted for $1.4 million in expenses, but actual expenses for the year are projected to come in under $1.1 million, sending $200-300,000 into reserves.

The district may consider another rate review in 2017 to determine if rates are still in line with district costs.

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