Despite an ongoing budget deficit, Gravois Arm Sewer District president Dave Taylor says the district is sound financially. The district board continues to fully fund its reserve account as well as replacement and maintenance account. Operational expenses are covered, he says.
"We are running a budget deficit, but that was anticipated because of the plant," Taylor says. "We had to get the plant going and online before we could expand into the rest of the district. We have been running a budget deficit, but if you look at the bottom line, at all the assets and everything, we're still ok, but we're going to be better off once we get the 500 new customers all online."
The district is currently in the midst of its third phase of construction in which some 500 users are being added. Once completed, the GASD will have close to 880 customers.
The district built a state-of-the-art treatment facility in its second phase which will easily be able to handle all of the new customers, plus the Village of Gravois Mills system will be directed to the new facility. The large new plant off Route P put the greatest expense on the front end of its mission to sewer the approximately 3,500 potential customers in the district.
Before getting into the phase 3 project, the board planned to spend about $29,000 per month with revenues totaling close to $20,000 per month.
In the first six months of the year, they have remained near those numbers. Some months are up from that and some down, according to Taylor, but overall it's about on target.
The monthly average for the first six months of the year is $20,150 in revenue and $29,490 in expenses.
As they near mid-September, the scheduled completion date of the project, and more customers come online and begin paying user fees, Taylor expects the financial situation to stabilize.
June revenues totaled about $21,000 and expenses around $27,000, beginning to show improvement from January when revenues were about $19,000 and expenses about $32,000. There were 351 customers at the beginning of the year and 444 in June, according to the district's six month financial report. The average monthly revenue per customer was $54.
Taylor says the budget issue is to some extent a "paper thing." The money that goes into the bond reserve fund and the replacement and extension fund are listed as an expenses, but the district still has that money, they're just under different accounts.
The Operation & Maintenance fund had about $35,000 in it as of June 30. The Bond Reserve had approximately $54,625 and the Replacement & Extension around $36,860.