By ALYSSON AREDAS
Staff reporter of the
Without any rate increases or major changes planned for the second consecutive year, the 2017 Turlock Irrigation District budget was unanimously approved by Board of Directors after months of preparation Tuesday, Dec. 13.
"There's not a rate adjustment planned for this year, so we're basically talking about steady state in this particular fiscal year," said TID Assistant General Manager of Financial Services Joe Malaski, who provided directors with a capital budget workshop in September.
September's Capital Budget Workshop kicked off preliminary budget talks, which were continued with an Operations and Maintenance Workshop in October. Throughout the months of November and December, each administration presented their respective budgets to the Board of Directors.
The general manager's capital budget for 2017 is $2.5 million, which includes $1.5 million for Don Pedro relicensing and $1 million for La Grange relicensing. TID is expected to debt finance these two major expenditures, leaving $50,000 in the budget as a contingency plan. The general manager's O&M budget is $9 million, which includes $4.8 million for customer service and $1.3 for human resources.
For 2017, the External Affairs administration only includes an O&M budget of $1.6 million. No capital is budgeted.
In Financial Services, the 2017 O&M budget is $12.1 million and the capital budget is $9.9 million. Of that total capital budget, $8.8 million will be allotted to personal computers and workstations, shop tools and test equipment, Customer Information Service replacement and network infrastructure.
"Network infrastructure is made up of several items," said Malaski. "The largest one of those items this year is $300,000 for enhanced security for our systems. There is a lot of emphasis in the industry as a whole to do more to protect the systems that we have and hopefully keep people out of them."
At $12.8 million, the Water Resources capital budget for 2017 includes a number of major financial projects, including $1 million for replacement vehicles, $7.7 million for the Palm Street Operations Complex and $1 million for Domestic Water. The O&M budget is $19.2 million, which includes funding for administration, civil engineering, and construction and maintenance.
The 2017 capital budget for Electrical Engineering & Operations is $19.2 million, which includes expenditures attributed to routine expansion projects at $6.4 million, pole test and replacement at $500,000 and the beginning of 230kV pole painting and refurbishment at $1 million. The O&M budget, which covers administration, line department and control center operations, is $19 million.
In the Power Supply administration, which includes Tuolumne Wind Project Authority and Walnut Energy Center, the O&M budget is $51.2 million. The capital budget is $9.9 million, there which includes $1.8 million for natural gas reserves, $500,000 for Tuolumne Wind Project, $235,000 for Almond Power Plant and Almond 2 Power Plant, and $425,000 for Walnut Energy Center.
"This is arguably one of the smallest budget requests I've had in a long time," said Assistant General Manager of Power Supply Brian LaFollette in September.
One item that was omitted from the 2017 Power Supply Operations & Maintenance budget was $282,638 for Walnut Power Plant. Directors will wait to vote on that item until after they attend a Board workshop on Jan. 31.