Water, Gas & Light in Albany
ALBANY, Ga. -- John Vansant, the city's Water, Gas & Light Commission director of fiscal affairs, threw a changeup at the commission's board of directors at its Thursday-morning meeting: good financial news.
"I get to do something this morning that I haven't been able to do in a long time: tell you that all of our departments did much better than budgeted in the month of March," Vansant told the board.
The finance director explained that WG&L's various departments had taken in some $871,000 more than budgeted for the month, with the light department's revenue coming in $482,000 above projections, the gas department $309,000 better, the water department $44,000 more than projected and telcom $36,000 greater than expectations.
Vansant said the positive financial report for March helped cut into a year-to-date collections deficit that is $1.7 million below budget. Then he offered even better financial news.
"If our April figures hold where we think they will, that should put us into the black for the year," Vansant said.
Assistant General Manager for Operations Keith Goodin added his own good financial news to the fiscal affairs director's report. Goodin said that, despite heavy rains that hampered the project, Phase I of the manufactured gas plant environmental cleanup will cost the utility a little more than $619,000, some $130,000 less than the projected cost of investigative removal at the Front Street site.
"We had more than 19 inches of rain in February, and the water that settled in the excavation sites had to be removed and tested before being released," Goodin said. "That pushed construction costs around $37,000 above what was projected and landfill costs almost $70,000 more than projected. We ended up taking more than 3,000 more tons of dirt to the landfill than we'd expected.
"But I'm very optimistic that this dig will prove to be not as bad as it could have been."
Goodin said insurance claims during Phase 1 of the cleanup amounted to around $402,000 so far with another $200,000 (one-third of the cleanup cost) expected.
The board initially voted to appoint Commissioner Judith Corbett as its voting Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia delegate but later rescinded that vote and assigned that task to interim General Manager James Taylor. Corbett was then selected as a candidate to seek a vacant seat on the MEAG board.