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DSRSD Adopts Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets
Three anaerobic digesters at the DSRSD wastewater treatment plant break down solids and produce biogas to generate electricity. DSRSD will spend $13.1 million to build a fourth digester and a receiving station for fats, oil, and grease as part of a $66 million capital improvement program in 2018 and 2019.
DUBLIN, CA–Last night, the Dublin San Ramon Services District Board of Directors adopted operating and capital improvement budgets for the next two fiscal years and a 10-year plan to guide investments in infrastructure. Operating expenditures are budgeted at $63 million in 2018 and $65 million in 2019. Capital spending over the two years is budgeted at $66 million.
DSRSD plans to add eight new staff positions in 2018, all but one focused on operations, deferred maintenance, and future preventive maintenance of its water, sewer, and wastewater treatment systems. In 2018, the $1.1 million cost of salaries and benefits for these positions will be partially offset by $477,000 in reduced spending on contract and temporary employees. DSRSD has operated with approximately 113 full-time positions since 2009. Over the same period, the District’s service area population grew by 12 percent, and miles of water and sewer pipes maintained by DSRSD staff increased 10 percent. The additions will increase staff to 121 full-time positions, still below the District’s pre-recession peak of 134.
The separate $66 million two-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget authorizes 64 projects for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and is a component of a 10-year CIP plan. By 2027, DSRSD is planning to invest a total of $176 million in capital projects to serve a rapidly growing customer base, rehabilitate or replace existing water and wastewater infrastructure as it wears out, and develop alternative water supplies in collaboration with other Tri-Valley agencies. The 10-year plan is based on master plans for water and wastewater systems and the District’s strategic plan, all updated in the past two years.
“We are investing in people, infrastructure, and prudent asset management to keep up with growth and get maximum value from our water and sewer systems as they age,” says Board President Richard Halket. “The District is in excellent financial health and has clearly defined a path to continue providing reliable and sustainable services to the community.”
Moderate Wastewater Rate Increases
Although DSRSD is stepping up capital improvement spending, rate increases in 2018 and 2019 will be moderated by the effects of new development. A growing customer base spreads fixed costs over more accounts and generates fee revenue dedicated to infrastructure. Residential wastewater rates did not increase in 2017; they are proposed to increase by 3.9 percent in fiscal 2018 and 5.4 percent the following year, primarily due to increased spending on maintaining and rehabilitating the sanitary sewer system and increasing capital reserves for rehabilitation.
DSRSD will do a rate study in 2018 to establish water rates for the following five years.
Capital Improvement Program Highlights
Capital improvement projects planned for the next two fiscal years include replacement of existing infrastructure as well as expansion needed to serve additional customers. Major projects already in progress or scheduled to start in 2018 include:
- Expand the water recycling plant to meet rising demand for irrigation water ($8.4 million, DSRSD’s share of an $18.2 million regional project)
- Rehabilitate the Dublin trunk sewer, a major pipeline installed in 1960, to extend its life by 50 years ($6.7 million)
- Build a fourth anaerobic digester and a receiving station for fats, oils, and grease to expand treatment capacity for wastewater solids, provide needed redundancy for maintenance and reliable operations, and improve biogas production for generating electricity ($13.1 million)
- Build a four-million-gallon drinking water reservoir to replace a smaller reservoir built for Camp Parks in the 1940s ($7.6 million)
- Expand and enhance primary wastewater treatment to improve efficiency and effluent quality and capture more biosolids for generating electricity ($10 million)
Founded in 1953, DSRSD serves 173,000 people, providing potable and recycled water service to Dublin and the Dougherty Valley area of San Ramon, wastewater collection and treatment to Dublin and south San Ramon, and wastewater treatment to Pleasanton (by contract). DSRSD also operates the Jeffrey G. Hansen Water Recycling Plant and backbone recycled water distribution system on behalf of the San Ramon Valley Recycled Water Program, a partnership among DSRSD, East Bay Municipal Utility District, and Pleasanton. The DSRSD office is located at 7051 Dublin Boulevard, Dublin, CA, 94568. For more information visit www.dsrsd.com.
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