WG&L revenues increase for 1Q

ALBANY -- The Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission's finance director says the utility is performing better than expected after the first quarter of the fiscal year, boasting a $1.4 million gross budget surplus.

Boosted by the utility's light department, which generated roughly $1.7 million more in revenues than had been been budgeted, WG&L was able to overcome a slow start by the water department and a $500,000 loss in the utility's gas department.

With nine months left in the 2011 fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011, WG&L is in a good financial position looking ahead, Finance Director John Vansant III said.

The department currently has an $8.1 million reserve, which is up from $3 million earlier in the year, $1 million cash-on-hand, with total assets at $23 million and liabilities at $12 million.

Vansant cautioned the board, however, that later in the year the board would have to grapple with a 14 percent increase -- projected to be between $7 million and $9 million -- in costs associated with WG&L's partnership with the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.

During the budget presentation, WG&L board members also learned of increased revenue generated through a partnership with Chehaw which put down 13,000 feet of WG&L's fiber network throughout the park. That contract work will provide the park with high-speed internet and telephone capability, Skates said.