As states, municipalities and agencies continue grappling with the economic impacts of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, the West Valley Water District Board of Directors has taken what most consider a prudent and responsible approach to the agency’s 2020-2021 budget by approving $416,000 in cost savings and no water rate increases.
Board President Channing Hawkins who stewarded the budget’s approval, gave credit to the agency’s management team for working together and making the hard choices required while also prioritizing investments in the agency’s infrastructure. “Despite all the obstacles, we were able to account for revenue shortfalls and ensure quality services for ratepayers without raising rates.”
“In the face of a pandemic and economic crisis,” Hawkins continued, “this budget delivers on our promise to increase fiscal responsibility and accountability.”
Governor Gavin Newsom recently suggested the State of California faces $54.3 billion deficit despite starting the year with about $20 billion in reserves. While WVWD does not fund operations and capital improvement projects via sales tax revenues, it does fund operations by utilizing district general fund and capacity charges, which were also affected by COVID-19 and ratepayers’ inability to sustain payments due to financial strain.
Speaking to the agency’s proactive approach to budget management WVWD Board Vice President Kyle Crowther shared, “I am pleased that we were able to identify funding for critical projects to enhance services across our Water District. I am proud of the work our management team has done to ensure that we have a budget that keeps water flowing.”
Stephanie E. Williams is managing editor for the IE Voice and the Black Voice News.
Photo: WVWD Board President Channing Hawkins (Photo courtesy of WVWD.org)