Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

FPUD approves 2024-25 budget

The Fallbrook Public Utility District adopted FPUD’s Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget.

FPUD’s board voted 5-0 May 29 to adopt the 2024-25 budget. The budget projects $24,845,523 of operating expenses, $6,141,314 for debt service payment, and $11,726,000 of capital expenditures.

The $30,986,987 total non-capital budget is 10.6% less than the $34,649,856 amount in the 2023-24 budget.

On Jan. 1, FPUD detached from the San Diego County Water Authority and annexed to the Eastern Municipal Water District, and Eastern provides wholesale water at a lower cost than the SDCWA does. FPUD also obtains local supply from the Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project which recharges water in the lower Santa Margarita River basin and increases available water supplies for FPUD and Camp Pendleton; the amount of water FPUD obtains will depend on weather conditions and the district receives more water from that local source in wetter years.

Budgeted water supply costs were $9,558,078 for 2023-24 and are $3,433,211 in the 2024-25 budget, which equates to a decrease of 64.1%. FPUD anticipates total water purchases of 7,568 acre-feet during Fiscal Year 2024-25 with the Conjunctive Use Project providing 5,990 acre-feet, withdrawal from storage at Red Mountain Reservoir accounting for 899 acre-feet, and purchases from Eastern covering 679 acre-feet.

The detachment conditions included payment of an exit fee to cover the loss of fixed revenue for the CWA. The exit fee was originally planned to be paid over five years, and a settlement agreement resulted in the entire exit fee being paid upon detachment.

On Jan. 22, the FPUD board approved the issuance of revenue bonds for capital improvement projects which allowed FPUD to provide rate relief to water users rather than to incorporate the exit fee into the current rates or to defer capital improvement or maintenance projects.

(Although the pay-as-you-go method for capital expenses frees up interest payments for other projects, bond debt for capital improvement projects translates into future beneficiaries paying their share as opposed to being paid for in full by current residents who leave the area before the project's completion with newer residents not paying at all for the project, so the revenue bonds also provide a fairness advantage).

The issuance of revenue bonds increased FPUD’s debt service budget by 12.4% from $5,463,081 during 2023-24 to $6,141,364 for 2024-25. Benefits expenditures will be increased 9.9% from $4,400,781 to $4,835,681 due to increased pension and medical costs.

Planned capital spending for 2024-25 includes $5,355,000 for pipeline and valve replacement, $1,280,000 for water reclamation plant improvements, $1,250,000 for pump stations, $840,000 for steel reservoir improvements, $690,000 for wastewater collection system projects, $655,000 for vehicles and heavy equipment, $312,000 for district yard improvements, $310,000 for the Santa Margarita groundwater treatment plant, and $250,000 for pressure reducing station rehabilitation.

FPUD plans to replace 100 water main valves during the upcoming fiscal year and plans pipeline replacement of 9,000 linear feet in various Downtown Fallbrook streets, 5,000 linear feet along Via Arroyo and Winterwarm Road, and 2,600 linear feet on Daily Road adjacent to Ross Lake.

The Toyon Pump Station in the Red Mountain area will be replaced, and a new pump station will allow Conjunctive Use Project supply to be conveyed to DeLuz.

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 06/13/2024 12:22