As we approach the completion of the USDA construction project, the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) continues to keep a close eye on our approved funding versus total estimated costs. Based on our latest estimates, with all potential change orders included, there is adequate funding remaining to add 3‐4 high priority new scope tasks (pending USDA approval). MC Engineering is currently negotiating ﬁrm quotes and the additional construction schedule required with Mozingo, as well as coordinating the new scope approvals with USDA. If approved, since added schedule time increases the interest we pay on our Co‐Bank interim loan, a cost‐beneﬁt analysis will be performed to ensure timely completion of the new scope tasks at the most advantageous aﬀordable price.
As mentioned in previous Bubbler articles, the BLSMWC Board made a decision at the start of the USDA construction project in October 2018 to delay our reimbursement requests for engineering & design support and major parts purchases in order to reduce interim loan interest payments. Over the past 19 months, we have covered approx. $2.5M in USDA costs from our operating budget which will be eligible for reimbursement at the end of construction. By taking this approach, together with the fact that our interest rate dropped from 4.49% to 2.44% over the past year, we estimate saving approximately $149K in interest payments.
The Asset Management Plan database replacement cost values and estimated end of life has been reconciled for all assets in the BLSMWC system. The end of life for each asset varies from 18 years for meters all the way up to 90 years for mainline replacements. Since a signiﬁcant portion of our assets are currently being replaced as part of the USDA Project, the database shows that 87% will not be due for replacement for 50+ years. A breakdown of replacement costs based on end‐of‐life and including soft costs (i.e., engineering, planning & contingency) where applicable are as follows:
|Asset Category||Cost to Replace||Soft Cost||Total Cost|
|Water Distribution System||$36,149,888||$7,229,978||$43,379,866|
|Water Treatment Plant||$1,387,462||$72,120||$1,459,582|
Over the next month, the LRPC will develop funding plan options that are both cost eﬀective and viable, and will meet our long term strategic ﬁnancial goals. As mentioned in this article above, at the end of USDA construction we estimate potential reimbursement of $1.5M ‐ $1.9M for project scope BLSMWC funded from our operating budget over the past 19 months. Approximately $800K will be allocated to fund our Reserves Fund Policy as approved by the Board in January 2019. These funds set aside in our Reserves Fund Policy will complement the objectives to be set for the Asset Management Plan. Consideration will be discussed to allocate a portion of the USDA reimbursements to our Asset Management.