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City of Austin - Joint Committee 2014
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During FY 2012, the City Council passed Resolution No. 20110922-052 which directed the City Manager to work with a Joint Subcommittee of the Water and Wastewater Commission, Resource Management Commission, and the Impact Fee Advisory Committee, with input from the public, to develop recommendations for short-term and long-term financial plans to strengthen the financial stability of the Austin Water Utility. The Joint Subcommittee completed their work in May 2012 with the development of specific short and long-term recommendations for Austin Water's financial and rate design policies. Water rates implementing these recommendations went into effect in February 2013.

The City Manager has authorized the reconvening of the Joint Subcommittee in 2014 to assist Austin Water in reviewing its financial and rate forecasts for 2015, developing recommendations on additional financial and rate policies to further strengthen Austin Water's financial stability.

The current work of the 2014 Joint Subcommittee will include the following:

  • Review of financial forecasts for FY 2015-19
  • Review of alternative rate design options to strengthen Austin Water's financial position and reduce revenue volatility
  • Review of possible implementation of automatic drought rates tied to water conservation restriction stages or lake levels
  • Review of Austin Water budgeted expenses and provide recommendations on any potential cost savings
  • Development of recommendations on a new business model for Austin Water which includes continued advancement of water conservation while still funding the Utility at a level that will maintain the high level of services and financial stability

Over the next several months, the joint subcommittee will be meeting to discuss these topics. Meeting schedules and information will be provided on the City's Austin Water website.

Joint Committee members and the public may submit questions, comments and informational requests through submittal through the form below. Some voluminous requests might not be able to be responded to within a short time frame.

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274 Daniel Wilcox Submitted: 04/24/2014
After attending two Joint Comitte Meetings it is apperent that there is a large amount of detailed material to cover. Having a meeting facilitator may help to keep the meeting on task and follow the agenda.
275 Daniel Wilcox Submitted: 04/24/2014
Since the Water Conservation efforts in Austin have been tremendously successful and resulted in lower than expected revenues for the Utility, it makes sense to delay rate increases to improve debt service coverage and instead focus on revenues needed to cover utility costs. This will become more of a problem when we reach stage 3 water restrictions in July or August 2014 which will result in more revenue short falls. A better solution may be to delay the review of debt service coverage until after the fall of 2014 when El NiƱo is expected to hit Texas.
287 Brad C Submitted: 05/13/2014
The City of Austin should take many many steps to implement conservation and stem growth in our area before every considering the addition of any drought fees to our residents. Further, if the City wants to impose a drought fee it should be levied on commercial entities, developers and events. For example ACL Live South by Southwest, and all events at Palmer and the F1 facility should be paying very large drought fees, since they impose significant demands on our city infrastructure,water and otherwise. Finally, it should be clear by now that this is a city that cannot afford to grown anymore, yet it appears that the city still encourages growth. How can this be reconciled?
367 1 1 Submitted: 02/21/2016