Tuesday morning, the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors gave the final approval for the 2013 Budget. The budget, which was unanimously approved, reflects in an increase in revenue from the 2012 Budget.
The budget process began in the month of September, when TID Staff presented the Board of Directors with various workshops. Revenues, which were approximately $335 million in 2012, have increased to an estimated $358 million in 2013.
Capital expenses decreased significantly from the prior year. In 2012, capital expenses were approximately $84 million, while in 2013 capital expenses are estimated to be approximately $48 million, a $36 million decrease. This decrease in expenses is primarily due to a dramatic decrease in structure and improvement expenses, as in 2012 there were approximately 105 structure and improvement projects, and merely 23 forecasted in 2013, most of which are regular maintenance costs.
Although non-capital expenses, at $319 million, have increased by four percent from the 2012 budget, these increases are due to the ever-increasing costs of gas/diesel, insurance, employee benefits, negotiations, and medical expenses.
While the district eliminated 10 positions in the 2013 Budget, none of these positions were filled prior to their elimination.
Due to the increasing costs of the State of California’s renewable energy requirements, the 2013 Budget does reflect an electric rate increase, as part of the three-year plan approved in 2011. This three-year plan will see a four percent increase in electric rates each year on January 1 until 2014. On January 1, 2013, the increase will amount to $5 per month for most customers and is labeled as the ‘Environmental Charge’ on customer bills. Aside from this increase, TID staff reported on Tuesday that there would be no other changes in their 2013 Rate Strategy.
“Thanks for all of your hard work and to all those involved,” stated President Michael Frantz before the Board of Directors voted unanimously, approving the budget. “I know it’s a huge effort and I know you tried to keep it as lean as possible in light of the times.”