Manchester’s water board anticipates $1.4 million in excess funds

This article by Cherise Madigan originally appeared Jan. 3 in the Manchester Journal.

MANCHESTER — Manchester’s Water Board anticipates an approximately $1.4 million excess of funds stemming from savings in the village’s upcoming water main project, raising a question that may be answered by voters at Town Meeting: how should those funds be utilized?

That question was the largest topic of discussion at Tuesday’s joint meeting of the Manchester Select Board, the Board of Sewer Commissioners, and the Board of Water Commissioners.

The meeting, focusing on the proposed budgets for the water and sewer departments, was relatively uncontentious with a large focus on upcoming capital projects on Main Street and Depot Street.

Both boards approved the proposed budget unanimously, which anticipates an approximately three percent increase in water and sewer user fees. Those increases stem from a surge in revenue, due to the increased usage seen by both systems following the construction of two new hotels in downtown Manchester: The Kimpton Taconic Inn and the Hampton Inn and Suites.

The upcoming overhaul of Manchester’s zoning ordinance is also expected to have a positive impact on connection fees by encouraging increased density in downtown Manchester. Because of that increase in revenue, Town Manager John O’Keefe recommends the creation of a water assessment fee based on grand list value, estimated at $100,000 in the first year.

In terms of capital projects, $10,000 was allocated in both the water and sewer budgets to complete a paving project at the town Water and Sewer facility. In the water budget $192,941 was allocated to pay off bond interest with $221,273 going towards bond principal, though those costs will be offset by $100,000 in assessment revenues.

Read full article at the Manchester Journal.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/redjar