County approves borrowing to shore up ailing public utilities

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Nov 02, 2011 - 03:58 PM

The Gloucester County Board of Supervisors agreed to borrow up to $3.8 million during its meeting Tuesday night in the colonial courthouse to help the county’s ailing public utilities system.

The decision came after hearing an assessment of the system from Raftelis Financial Consultants, the Charlotte, N.C.-based firm the county hired to conduct an assessment of the department of public utilities.

The consultants reported that the utilities department’s leadership and employees are competent and hard working. However, the problem lies in the financial stability of the system. "The Water and Sewer Fund shows a significant gap between projected revenues and projected revenue requirements even though water and sewer rates are relatively high compared to other utilities in the region," the consultant’s report stated.

Bart Kreps with Raftelis said additional revenues will be required to meet objectives for financial self-sufficiency. He suggested self-sufficiency should be achieved by 2020.