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Tampa Bay Water approves 2018 budget, without raising prices

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Florida’s largest wholesale water provider has approved a budget for next year, without raising prices to Tampa Bay-area consumers.

Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors approved the agency’s fiscal year budget Tuesday, keeping its wholesale drinking water rate at $2.56 per 1,000 gallons, for the seventh consecutive year.

“Tampa Bay Water’s board is committed to providing clean, safe and reliable water at an affordable price,” said TBW chief financial officer Christina Sackett.

The company expects a 7.2 million gallon per day increase in regional water demand, 4.4 percent up from 2017. Increased revenues from demand will offset the added $1.6 million needed for fixed and variable costs resulting from the higher usage.

Projected water needs to TBW member governments is 172.2 million gallons per day (mgd). The organization offers high-quality drinking water to member governments throughout the Tampa Bay region, serving more than 2.4 million residents. Counties and municipalities that get water from TBW — and share in the operating costs — include New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa, as well as Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

For 2018, three sources will provide Tampa Bay Water its water: 108.4 mgd of groundwater; 55.8 mgd of surface water and 8 mgd of desalinated seawater.

Increased demand will also allow TBW to add $4 million of pay-as-you-go funds to be used for capital improvement projects, renewal and replacement projects. Pay-as-you-go funds reduce the need to issue debt, which offers long-term savings.

TBW will not use any rate stabilization funds for 2018.

 

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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