Tega Cay took another step last week toward its acquisition of Tega Cay Water Service, passing the first vote on a $676,045 budget for the utility in its first fiscal year under city control.
Tega Cay Water Service won’t initially be enveloped by the city’s existing utility, Tega Cay Utilities Department. Instead, the now private utility would come in as a new entity, called Traditional Tega Cay Utility Service. It includes more than 1,700 water and sewer customers in some of the oldest parts of Tega Cay. TCUD serves around 1,500 customers in the city’s newest neighborhoods.
“We have come an extremely long way in this process,” City Manager Charlie Funderburk said.
“We still have several more items that we have to finalize and bring to City Council in the coming weeks if we are going to close on this transaction by the end of the month, but this was definitely another step in the right direction,” he said.
The May 12 vote laid out a budget for a truncated fiscal year, spanning May 31 to Sept. 30 when the fiscal year for existing city budgets ends. The budget assumes $285,909 for water service and $378,804 for sewer service. Another $11,332 in outside revenue is included, but tap fee charges aren’t.
Overhead, maintenance and administration will take $324,545 of that money and another $226,500 will go to a fund balance. The remaining $125,000 will pay back work done to evaluate and complete the acquisition.
Budget details in the new ordinance show the city will purchase water at $1.92 and bring in $5.97 per 1,000 gallons from customers. Customers will pay $52.95 per month for sewer service.
On Thursday, Council continued the process by authorizing Funderburk to complete a revenue bond agreement with SunTrust to fund the acquisition. The city and utility previously announced they’d settled on a price of $5.85 million.
Council also met past press time Monday, when a second and final vote on the budget was to be considered. An ordinance detailing the bond was planned for first vote, but it wasn’t complete as of Monday morning.
“What we did last night,” Mayor George Sheppard said following the first vote, “is just the next step in many steps to get to the goal line, which is closing on the new utility department owned by Tega Cay.”