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WG&L Board approves $108 million budget

ALBANY, Ga. -- The board of the Albany Water, Gas & Light Department unanimously adopted a $108 million Fiscal Year 2011 budget Thursday, which includes a modest 2 percent increase for electric rates to cope with increasing electricity costs.

The increase is meant to help mitigate a $1.6 million increase in electricity costs the utility is expecting during the next Fiscal Year, Finance Director John Vansant III said.

It means that a ratepayer who spends $100 per month on electricity will see their bill go up by $2 each month.

Heading into the final month of the 2010 Fiscal Year, WG&L is almost $3 million in the black, Vansant said, which should put them on sound financial footing to close out the books June 30.

"We're in a good position," Vansant said. "The summer has some of our strongest months and we depend on them to get us through the transition months when consumption drops."

In the budget, electricity rates are the only ones that are expected to increase. Water and gas are predicted to stay the same.

The budget will grow by 2 percent from $105 million last year to $108 million, which is largely a result of a fluctuating gas market and the electricity increase, Vansant said.