Business & Industry

WM Utilities revenue report

Department funds get big jolt from electricity service

Every household budgeter wonders the same things about their money — Where is it going to come from? Where did it all go?

The West Memphis Utilities Commission got answers to some of those same questions in a reviewed of 2015 revenue and expenses during its Feb. 3 meeting. The 80/20 Pareto principle doesn’t apply here. At the Utilities its more like 90/10. Assistant Utilities Manager Todd Pedersen walked commissioners through the details and showed them the lion’s share of the business was from electricity.

In 2014 electricity eclipsed $30.1 million the first time ever. The report commissioners saw was complete through just 11 months of 2015. The water and sewer departments bring in ten percent of the total utilities revenue. Last year the Water Works poured in just under 5 percent of the total, with $1.289 million. Wastewater charges brought in just over five percent of the total take with $1.374 million.

Total utilities revenue had grossed $27.144 million with December figures yet to come.

The big money was generated from electrical consumption.

“This is straight off the presses,” said Todd Pedersen. “We made roughly $2 million on electric in 2014.”

Electrical service delivered the biggest income to the utilities with 90 percent revenue amounting to $25.186 against $23.995 million in expenses. The biggest jolt was paid by business and industry.

Commercial electric sales were $14.374 million. The eight figure zap to residential customers added up to $10.052 million. The city itself was billed $6,874.10 each month to power the street lights. Four other income lines including wholesale electric sales accounted for the electric revenue balance.

“We actually lost money on operating expenses for water and sewer,” said Pedersen. “As you all know, we are spending to renovate manholes.”

The city utilities undertook manhole work to mitigate infiltration and inflow of storm water into the sewer lines to insure compliance with state and federal regulations. The 2015 work was in the biggest drainage basin in the city, an area roughly outlined as east of South Woods Street and south of Broadway.

By John Rech