The Utilities Board of Tuskegee is good financial shape, despite a drop in revenues, according to Mayor Johnny Ford, who is also Chairman of the Utilities Board.
"There's no doubt about this utility system or the City of Tuskegee," Ford said. "Both the City of Tuskegee is in the black and the utilities board is in the black."
Revenues are down mainly because of a decline in energy consumption, according to an outside audit released by the board. The bulk of that decline can be traced to the closure of VictoryLand, which had been the utility's largest customer. Between Fiscal Year 2011 and Fiscal Year 2012, there was a decline of just more than $1 million in revenue. Another $1.3 million revenue loss is expected in Fiscal Year 2013, which concludes September 30th.
Those declines in revenue are offset by declines in purchasing costs for electricity. Ford also said the utility has a large amount of reserves.
UBT's financial picture is a sharp contrast to that of 2002, when a mediator forced rates to increase to get the system back in the black.
Ford and other utility board members attended a meeting with employees to address concerns. Employees said they want a cost of living raise, and a reconsideration of the wage structure, to retain qualified employees.
"We intend to look at it and look at the current market pay, that's what we plan for the new budget, and we will do that," Ford said.
Ford said there will be a budget meeting on the 25th, and the fiscal year begins October 1st.
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