Over the next year while the USDA construction contract is completed and the remaining water meters are installed and connected, the LRPC will continue to research and discuss our rate structure design options, taking into account meter study usage levels and trends. As we proceed, the progress and analysis updates will be presented to the BOD. Our USDA loan repayment, and resulting impact on rates are not estimated to start until 2021, one year after construction is complete. The final rate structure is anticipated to be comprised of a base rate and consumptive rates designed to cover the full cost of providing water service to all shareholders today and into the future, including the full suite of operating and maintenance costs, as well as debt service payments, capital improvements, and contributions to our reserve funds. The goal will be to develop and achieve a design that results in the most fair and equitable rate structure for all shareholders.

Development efforts continue on the Asset Management Plan. During February, MC Engineering completed a first draft of the pipeline GIS file/map and database extract. They are currently working together with the BLSMWC Staff to finish populating the Inventory Database with the goal to complete this initial phase of the plan by month‐end March. As mentioned previously, this comprehensive interactive database tool will provide on‐going information on the life expectancy and estimated replacement cost of each asset, which will be utilized to determine the annual amounts required in our Capital Assets Reserve Fund. Once this phase is complete, the proposed scope for the remaining tasks will be reviewed and agreed to by the LRPC, with a recommended path forward presented to the BOD for approval.

MC Engineering also continues to work with Mozingo Construction, Inc. to obtain firm cost quotes and schedule impacts to the USDA Project if the BOD were to authorize several new scope tasks requested by the BLSMWC staff. As mentioned last month, once this information has been received, each additional task will be reviewed by the LRPC and BOD to determine cost and schedule risks, and only authorized if economically and technically necessary.

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