News Flash

Announcements

Posted on: December 7, 2020

City Commission adopts adjustment to water and wastewater rates

Image of running sink with words reading Water Rate Study

UPDATE:

The City Commission of the City of Panama City voted on December 8, 2020 to adopt adjusted Water and Wastewater Rates for the 2021 Fiscal Year following a presentation given by Raftelis on the Water and Wastewater Rate Study.

The Rate Study looked at the revenues and expenditures for the Utilities Fund which is a self-supporting proprietary fund that sells water and wastewater services to the public for a fee.

The new rates include a $2.31 increase to the base rate and an increase of $0.90 per 1,000 gallons of metered water use.

The City Commission adopted the rate scenario that has the least financial impact to customers but will bring in adequate cash flow to meet debt service requirements. The City’s Utilities Fund has not fully recovered from the loss of more than 1,600 customers due to Hurricane Michael and is experiencing a loss in revenue compared to pre-storm amounts. The existing rates were not projected to bring in the required revenues to meet the City’s bond covenant compliance.

The full presentation may be viewed in the City’s Video Archive, https://www.youtube.com/user/PanamaCity11.

The City Commission will evaluate Water and Wastewater Rates annually and consider adjustments based on recovery of revenues and expenditures.

The new rates will go into effect on January 1, 2021.

Citizens who are concerned about their ability to pay their utility bills, including past due amounts, are encouraged to apply for assistance through ReHouseBay at www.ReHouseBay.org.

===

The City Commission of the City of Panama City will consider an adjustment to water and wastewater rates for the 2021 Fiscal Year at its regularly-scheduled meeting on December 8, 2020. A representative from Raftelis will present the results from a Water and Wastewater Rate Study conducted earlier this year. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. and be held at the Bay County Government Center, located at 840 W. 11th Street.

Notice of the Public Hearing and rate considerations was posted in the most recent utility bill.

The Rate Study looked at the revenues and expenditures for the Utilities Fund which is a self-supporting proprietary fund that sells water and wastewater services to the public for a fee.

Following Hurricane Michael, the City lost more than 1,600 customers and is experiencing a loss in revenue compared to pre-storm amounts. Due to the loss in revenues, the Utilities Fund isn’t projected to have adequate annual cash flow to meet the minimum bond covenant compliance requirements.

Looking forward, the City is leveraging federal and State funding opportunities to replace aging infrastructure, which will improve the efficiency of the City’s water and wastewater systems. Last month, the Commission approved and submitted five project applications for funding through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program. The projects include upgrades to lift stations damaged by Hurricane Michael, replacement of water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure in Glenwood, Millville and Michigan Avenue area and improvements to stormwater infrastructure in low and moderate income areas.

The City is in the final stages for receiving a determination from Florida’s Department of Emergency Management for replacing 12 of the City’s most critical lift stations. Many are located along the water. It is expected to be a $40 million grant.

The City also anticipates approval for a State Revolving Fund Loan of $81 Million to replace water and sewer infrastructure in the City. The loan has provisions to forgive approximately $20 million. The remaining balance must be paid back over 20 years at near zero-percent interest. Determination of these funds will be made by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in February 2021. The City will use the funds to begin replacing aging infrastructure.

Additionally, the City is in the design and engineering phase for a replacement project for Cherry Street and Baker Court. These projects are being funded by Bay County’s Half-Cent Surtax which was approved by voters in 2016.

Facebook Twitter Email