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PRC UA adopts budget

No rate changes will take place in the new fiscal year for customers served by the Pearl River County Utility Authority.

That announcement was made by Executive Director Jeff McClain during Thursday’s meeting just before the board approved the budget for fiscal year, which shows the water and waste water agency will bring in more money this year than last.

For fiscal year 2011-2012 the gross profit for the Utility Authority was $1,539,094. For this coming fiscal year that figure is expected to increase to $1,903,223. However the Utility Authority’s expenses are expected to increase as well, from last year’s figure of $798,447 to $1,734,945. The extra income and expenses will be due to a number of projects being finished and coming online.

The board reviewed then adopted the budget unanimously.

One of the board members, Emil Kleinfeld, expressed concern with the financial statements he received, saying that to him, it appeared there were discrepancies. He provided each board member and McClain with a spreadsheet of his figures. Local CPA Ray Scott, who handles the Utility Authority’s financial end of operations, said the discrepancies showed up due to the nature of the audit process, which at times is six months behind. Scott said he would be happy to provide Kleinfeld with any information he needed.

Kleinfeld made a motion to have monthly cash flow reports available at each meeting. That motion was approved unanimously.

On the project end of things, the force main being installed along Highland Commons Parkway is under construction, said engineer Brooks Wallace. Construction of water mains in the former Dixie Utilities area are expected to begin shortly after a pre-construction meeting is held in October.

As for reimbursement for damages incurred during Hurricane Isaac, McClain said he has been in touch with FEMA representatives and the Utility Authority has 60 days to determine the full scale of the damage and then six months to determine a total cost to repair them. The Utility Authority has 18 months to document additional expense, if the estimate is off from the actual cost.

The next meeting of the Utility Authority will be Oct. 18, at 2 p.m. in Picayune’s City Hall.