For the hearing-impaired, an interpreter can be provided with 48 hours' notice prior to the meeting. To arrange for this service, call (541) 744-3603.
“The Mission of the Springfield Utility Board is to provide safe, reliable, cost-effective utility-related services to the citizens and businesses of the Springfield community.”
To ensure safe public meetings, we continue to follow current and up-to-date COVID precautions.
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Special Meeting with SUB Budget Committee – 5 p.m.
The Springfield Utility Board (SUB) will meet in special meeting with SUB’s Budget Committee for further deliberations on the Proposed 2022 Utility Operating Budget. Members of the public are invited to join the Budget Committee meeting via phone or internet by following instructions below. Those joining remotely will be prompted for comment during the meeting. The public may also submit public comment in advance to be entered into the record via email by 3:00 p.m. on November 16, by using our Contact Us form.
Use this one-touch link to join from your computer, tablet, or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/763970301
To join using the GoToMeeting App, enter meeting ID: 763-970-301
Use your telephone for Audio Only Mode – please mute your microphone to cancel background noise:
Call-in: (866) 899 4679 (Toll-Free)
Call-in: (571) 317-3116 (Long Distance charges may apply)
Access Code: 763-970-301
Oregon Relay/TTY: 711 -or- (800) 735-1232
Special Meeting – Budget Committee
I. Call to Order
- A. Pledge of Allegiance
II. Business from the Audience
III. Further Discussion of Proposed 2022 Budget
2nd Budget Committee Meeting 2022 – November 16, 2021
Board approval at January 12, 2022, Regular Board Meeting.
Board Members: Mike Eyster, Board Chair-Excused Absence; Robert Scherer, Board Vice-Chair; David Willis; John DeWenter; Mark Molina.
Lay Members: Kris McAlister, Budget Committee Chair; Neal Forrester; Terri Dillon; Kori Rodley; Steve Moe; Pat Riggs-Henson-Excused Absence.
Staff: Jeff Nelson; Cynthia Scoble; Sanjeev King; Greg Miller; Nicole Dalke; Cindy Flaherty.
Call to Order
Budget Committee Chair Kris McAlister called the meeting to order at 5:02 p.m. and welcomed everyone to the second Budget Committee meeting for further discussion on the proposed 2022 Utility Budget. He then led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Business from the Audience
Further Discussion on the Proposed 2022 Budget
Chair McAlister then asked Jeff Nelson to share a brief update regarding his recent written communication in response to the Budget Committee’s questions on the proposed 2022 budget.
Jeff Nelson referred to his handout 2022 SUB Budget Committee Q&A - updated 11/15/2021 (Exhibit A), and shared that this communication was provided as response to all of the questions presented by the Budget Committee at the November 3 Budget Committee meeting. The references in the handout to pages in the proposed 2022 budget are available on SUB’s website.
Chair McAlister then asked Budget Committee members to share their thoughts and perspectives on the proposed budget as related to the public input heard during the November 10 regular Board meeting urging SUB to keep rates low and to be mindful of inflation rates and the impacts it has on the community.
Following shared thoughts, concerns, and thorough discussion on inflation rates, utility rates, aspects of customer base growth, infrastructure and system impacts and reliability issues, the consensus of the Budget Committee was that the Water Utility is not sufficiently funded when you look eight to ten years in the future, even with 5.00% rate increases. It was also determined that SUB needs to be aware of all the additional costs it has coming on and may need to raise rates more than the rate of inflation, and potentially more than the 5.00% water rate increase proposed for the next ten years.
Jeff Nelson noted that with the Board and the Budget Committee has supported for the Glenwood Substation and of the work that is being done to secure our water future by the development of the new surface-water treatment plant on the McKenzie River, in which we have water rights. SUB needs to make sure we are preserving our rights in the best capacity that we can, not only to serve the people with the needs for today, but also for the future of Springfield. These are some components that SUB, as a Utility is investing in. Along with all the water quality and other elements that are important to our customers, while trying to address concerns about rates. There are also valid concerns around the dynamic changes in supply chain issues and some of our costs may go up faster than what we are forecasting in our 10- year plan, because of some of these dynamic changes.
Further concerns and comments were expressed by the Budget Committee on how things seem to be rising above, and beyond the ability to bear much more. The committee also noted that the utility must remain financially sound, yet expressed the importance to do whatever it can to ensure affordable utility services.
Greg Miller shared brief update on the costs of the new surface-water treatment plant, and noted the transmission projects are related to, but not directly associated with the treatment plant.
Jeff Nelson shared that SUB is looking at outside funding to offset what ratepayers need to pay, as well as exploring other types of resources available to get funding for telecommunications. Additionally, as related to Councilor Moe’s point on downtown infrastructure, there may be opportunities for external funding outside of SUB to address some other infrastructure interests that may be explored.
Following tonight’s discussions, the Budget Committee made no modifications to its formal recommendation to the Board to adopt the proposed 2022 budget, as proposed. This formal recommendation was made at the November 3 Budget Committee meeting.
Chair McAlister thanked everyone for their valuable time and participation tonight.
Being no other business the meeting was adjourned by consensus at 6:03 p.m.
Mike Eyster, Board Chair
Jeff Nelson, Board Secretary