Following the troubling announcement from the Sewerage & Water Board, which says its drainage system is out of cash, Eyewitness News is examining what it means to residents.
Tracy Alonzo with Orleans Sheet Metal Works and Roofing, one of the many businesses that took on water during the July and August 2017 floods, wondered if services would be cut.
The S&WB said there is no need to panic. The pumps will still work, and operations will continue as normal. But how will this affect you, the customer? A spokesperson said the S&WB isn't laying anyone off or cutting shifts, and there is no plan to charge customers more money. The drainage system, after all, is funded solely by property taxes, not customer fees.
In order to keep everything running, the board is now shuffling money around from sewer and water cash reserves, essentially loaning itself money. That means several projects will be delayed until next year.
The S&WB is looking for other sources of revenue, including $23.6 million in FEMA reimbursement payments. Along with three millages, the agency should be replenished with $53 million by the first quarter of next year.
Jacqueline Quynh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.