From the Sterling Journal Advocate (David Marinez):
Some major changes are coming to the water fund, as the city weans off major water line expenditures and increases its water plant expenditures.
Total expenditures for water line construction and improvements will drop from $16.5 million in 2011 and $14.3 million in 2012 to only $2.65 million in $2013.
The biggest changes in that budget come from a combined $786,000 drop in consultant fees and legal expenses. The city paid $236,000 this year for water consultants during construction — $25,000 in 2013 — and $575,000 in water court issues.
Kiolbasa said the city, like farms or other water users, has to protect its rights to use water for 15 to 20 years into the future. The court fees this year reflect an effort to secure the city’s rights to water until 2035.
On the other side, expenditures on the water plant will increase from $198,000 in 2012 to about $4.5 million in 2013, as almost every budget expenditure item will either be new or greatly increased for the coming year.
All things considered, the total water fund equity will decrease from about $10.6 million in 2012 to about $8.9 million next year.