East Valley Water District Adopts $30 Million Budget

Highland, CA – The East Valley Water District Board of Directors unanimously adopted a nearly $30 million budget for fiscal year 2012/2013 on June 27, 2012.  It is a roadmap of fiscally stable policies, continuing the District’s long tradition of providing safe, reliable, quality water to residents since 1954.

The total operating revenue is projected to be $29,673,658 -- $18,529,750 for the District’s water enterprise, while $11,143,908 is projected for sewer services.  The budget includes increased accountability and authority at all organizational levels, based on board-approved strategic initiatives.

“Our budget process was a collaborative effort focused on living within our means while managing our agency’s future commitments responsibly,” said John Mura, EVWD General Manager and CEO.  “I am extremely pleased with how our staff worked together to find sound cost-cutting opportunities without compromising our commitment to our customers.”

EVWD’s reserve policy is reaching an unprecedented standard this year with more than $800,000 to be budgeted for a rainy day from the beginning.  “By being both economically and operationally prudent with our cash on hand, customers can feel confident that their water and sewer service will be there, even when disaster strikes or unforeseen financial circumstances occur,” added Mura.   

The District’s finance department is working hard to produce a balanced budget each year; having externally audited financial annual reports; funding necessary capital infrastructure including critical maintenance; researching state and federal aid to maximize potential resources and implementing additional cost-cutting initiatives.  The District is investing in updated equipment to reduce maintenance fees, reevaluating vendors to verify value and fiscal efficiency, and developing long-term contracts to lock in lower costs.

District employees also contributed to the success of this year’s budget outlook.  As a result of substantive negotiation with employee representatives, staff salaries will remain at current levels for the next two years.  Personnel costs including pension contributions account for only approximately 20% of the District’s overall budget, providing for a more stable financial outlook in the long term.

“The participation by our staff to aid us in balancing our budget is remarkable,” added Matt LeVesque, Chairman of EVWD’s Board of Directors.  “Our organization is to be commended for all of the hard work and dedication involved in this process.  East Valley Water District is truly setting an example for our region in responsible fiscal management and responsibility.”

Other cost control measures can be found across the agency.  Customer service has completed the implementation of paperless billing and lock box processing. This year also brings the installation of 3,000 new ITRON remote read meters and a more fuel-efficient vehicle for meter reading services.

The operations department will be completing plant upgrades and expansion, while rehabilitating the wells and booster pumps for efficiency. District engineers have completed the Conejo Drive sewer improvements and sewer main installation, working toward the completion of a 10-year update of a master sewer plan. The maintenance programs will enhance engineering systems, expand the manhole cover treatment program and purchase a new sewer camera and tractor.

The recent budget process represents EVWD’s primary goal -- bringing excellent service to its residents at a reasonable cost. EVWD provides water and sewer collection services to about 70,000 people in the cities of San Bernardino and Highland. For more information about EVWD, call (909) 889-9501 or visit www.eastvalley.org