Denver Water: Demand down, construction costs also drop

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From The Denver Post (Mark Jaffe):

Revenues for 2009 are projected to be down 15 percent to $190 million, according to Denver Water finance director David LaFrance. But the weak economy has also led to lower costs to borrow money and a drop in construction costs as building-material costs sag and contractors cut their bids by as much as 75 percent just to get work…It is difficult to tell how much of the revenue drop is the result of the recession and how much is from the wet summer that cut the need to water lawns, LaFrance said.

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Meanwhile revenues are way down for Aurora as well. Here’s a report from Adam Goldstein writing for the Aurora Sentinel. From the article:

But even with a resulting loss of revenues estimated between $8 million and $12 million, Aurora Water representatives say that the department has been able to absorb the losses, partly through savings in funds set aside for short-term water leases. “We had one advantage in our budget this year. Right after the drought in 2003, we put money in our budget for short-term water leases. If we had dry weather, we could simply lease water from farmers,” said Greg Baker, Aurora Water spokesman. “This year, we still had that money in our budget.”[…]

The city manager’s proposed budget for 2010, which he will present to the Aurora City Council later this week, proposes a budget of about $140,474,300 for the city’s water and wastewater/stormwater enterprise funds. This represents a slight increase over the budget for 2009, which was about $140,457,639. Baker added that proposed budget for 2010 will include two specific impacts on Aurora Water’s fees. In addition to a 6-percent increase in the city’s sewer rates, the department will also implement the second part of a two-tiered water rate increase originally approved in 2008. In 2010, Aurorans will see an increase of 7.5 percent in their water bills, a spike that follows the 8-percent increase implemented at the beginning of 2009. Both of these rate increases will help fund the Prairie Waters Project, the city’s new, $700-million water system set to come online in 2010.

More Denver Water coverage here. More Prairie Waters coverage here.

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