Portsmouth Water District sets 2019 budget
The Administrative Board for the Portsmouth Water and Fire District approved a $4.32 million operating budget for its 2019 fiscal year that began on May 1st. The 2019 fiscal operating budget has increased 3.65% compared to the 2018 fiscal budget. The approved total budget, which includes capital expenditures and principal payments on debt service, is $4.75 million. There is a 4.51% increase in the 2019 fiscal budget compared to the 2018 fiscal budget.
There are no increases in water usage rates or base charges in the approved budget. The quarterly water rates are $7.28 for the first 5,000 gallons and $10.71 for all water use over 5,000 gallons in the quarter. The average residential customer that uses 60,000 gallons of water per year would have an annual cost of $624.04.
The Board set the District’s property tax rate at $0.21 per thousand dollars of assessed value, which is a $0.01 decrease from the approved FY-18 budget. For a District property assessed at a value of $400,000, the tax bill would be $84.00. Property tax revenue accounts for less than 13% of the District’s total revenue. The use of its taxing authority allows the District to issue general obligation bonds, which offer a more favorable interest rate than revenue bonds, when funding capital projects.
Philip Driscoll, Administrative Board chairman, indicated that the Board is working hard to properly maintain and improve the water system, and to improve efficiency through technology, while providing fair and reasonable rates for customers and taxpayers. To help improve the District’s operational efficiency, Mr. Driscoll encourages customers to pay District water and tax bills using the District’s online payment portal. The portal allows customers to pay by checking account, debit card or credit card at no cost to the customer. To pay online, customers should log on to portsmouthwater.org and click on Pay My Bill. Additionally, customers are encouraged to sign up for CodeRED to be notified of emergencies and shutdowns. Go to https://portsmouthwater.org/codered-emergency-notification-system/ to learn more and to sign up.
Editorial note: Written from a press reeleast.