(editor’s note: my hearing is impaired. Should anyone find errors in the text below please send corrections to me. Audio is available at the Charlottesville Tomorrow website. The below is a partial transcript of RWSA Board Meeting, 10/25/2011. Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones asks a question, Rivanna Water and Sewer Executive Director Tom Frederick gives an answer. The photo above was taken February 17, 2005)
MJ– A part of my question goes back to what the Mayor asked for at the last City Council meeting, he was asking for a fifteen year projection. The concerns that you have about that are we’re not sure what the costs will be fifteen years from now, you are uncomfortable with doing a fifteen year projection… is that is pretty much what it boils down to?
TF– With respect to the pipeline I’ll say this. Based on more recent discussion, first of all, this board is not given the staff any direction as to when you want to build the pipeline. It would be very challenging, if not possible really, to do a financial analysis without a decision on what to base, at least what assumptions to base it on which I think is a decision that the board needs to make. In your prioritization of projects, more recently you have moved dredging up which suggests to me from a financial perspective that you’re not considering the pipeline as an important priority perhaps as it was considered a few years ago, that is just an assumption on my part because you are moving other projects ahead of it.
The report that was done on the pipeline a couple of years ago had some Rivanna s taff input that was done by Wiley-Wilson identified some strategies that ought to be looked at that could help reduce costs. There is still the question in 2006 when we had public meetings on the water supply there was a lot of interest in providing pre-treatment facilities, the question is, do you still want to do that or are you more interested in financial goals or are you more interested in providing those facilities? I think there is a host of questions the Board would need to ask if you are looking for what is the impact to a ratepayer. I think it is also important to understand that, I know ACSA has done this and I think that the City has done this to some extent, set up availability fees or system development charges or whatever you want to call them that help to let to have growth pay for itself. And while our wholesale rate has to be based on what is in the Four Party Agreement … right now the Four Party Agreement says we pass… we have to convert that to a rate per thousand gallons even though at the retail level you guys may be paying for it out of money contributed by system development charges and not passing those on to the retail customer. That is not an analysis that Ronnie and I can do because we don’t have your data.
TF–I think if your interest is to try to give the public some real idea rather than just throw a quick analysis on paper and throw it out there and not have done the thinking and the hard work behind it. It’s meaningful to people who really want to know the answer to the question of what the impact is going to be I think you need to do all those analyses and I think the Board will need to make some decisions up front about what we are going to base our assumptions on.
MJ–All right, thank you.