The City of Stillwater’s Water Utilities Engineering Department and the Water and Wastewater Divisions of the Water Utilities Department are funded entirely through the collection of water and wastewater service rates. Water Utilities Engineering has two primary funds – the Water Fund and the Wastewater Fund—from which we fund personnel wages, supplies, materials, equipment, capital projects and debt. Together, the Funds generate about $22 Million annually—but this amount varies based on water sales. A hot, dry summer generates more revenue due to greater water demands for uses such as lawn irrigation and swimming pools. This revenue increase is countered by an increase in hot-summer costs such as additional chemicals, materials and water line repairs.
Generally, the operation, maintenance, and administration costs are $12 Million annually which leaves about $10 Million available for capital projects each year. Typical capital projects include studies, investigations, design, construction and inspection. Total costs for a single project range from less than $50,000 to $15 Million. The historical average project cost is less than $1 Million.
When the cost of a schedule-critical capital project exceeds available funds, we finance the project – much like our customers finance a home. Our loans are typically paid back over a 20 year period, but not to exceed the estimated life of the financed asset. All debt payments are made from the Water Fund and the Wastewater Fund. Our Water 2040 Program is one example of projects which required us to obtain loan funds in order to complete the work.