The Left Hand Water District serves potable water to customers within the District’s boundaries and service area in Boulder, Broomfield and Weld counties. Approximately 85% of the customer accounts served are single-family residential accounts; the remaining 15% are commercial, multiple-housing or master meter community accounts.
SOURCES OF FUNDS
The Budget for 2021 reflects the anticipated revenues primarily from water sales to existing customers. It also includes revenues from tap sales to new development in rural Boulder and Weld Counties, as well as in areas served by the Left Hand Water District that are within the Town of Frederick and lie within the District. Revenue projections for 2021 reflect an increase of 5% for basic service fees for all customer types, 0-9% for volume charges for residential customers, and 7% for volume charges for non-residential customers. Water rates, fees, and charges are budgeted to pay all current operation and maintenance expenses of the system, to accumulate funds for future maintenance and replacement costs, and to create net revenue in the amount necessary to pay the principal and interest on all debt.
USES OF FUNDS
The 2021 Budget reflects an anticipated increase in operating expenditures of approximately 5.9% over the 2020 budget, as well as capital expenditures for both new projects and repair and replacement projects for existing infrastructure.
Included in the projects being funded through the District’s Board-designated Capital Fund, which is funded from Plant Investment and Line Fee components of tap fees, is an upgrade to a water line along Weld County Road 7, a multi-year project anticipated to be completed in 2021. The remainder of capital and construction projects will be funded from the Board-designated reserve fund for replacement and enhancement of existing infrastructure, which is funded from operating revenues. The 2021 budget includes funding for a new pump and PRV station, emergency interconnections with the City of Longmont, and upgrades at the Spurgeon Water Treatment Plant. Replacement and Enhancement projects are included in long range strategic plans and prioritized annually.
The District’s 2021 Budget also includes funding for the District’s participation in the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), a collaborative regional project through the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District to provide additional raw water supply. Since 2019 the District’s contribution has been funded through the District’s Board-designated Water Acquisition Fund, which is funded by the Water Acquisition Fee component of tap fees. The 2021 contribution will likewise be funded from the Water Acquisition Fund.
BASIS OF BUDGETING AND ACCOUNTING
The District’s budget presents four separate Funds – the Operating Fund, along with the three Board-designated reserve funds: the Capital Fund, the Replacement Fund, and the Water Acquisition Fund. The Consolidated Funds Budget shows all sources and uses of funds along with Fund balances.
The District operates as an Enterprise Fund as prescribed in standards for governmental accounting systems. The intent of the Board is that costs and expenses (including depreciation) of providing services to customers will be financed or recovered primarily through user charges. In order to clearly identify the government and enterprise functions of the District, the District’s annual budget reflects a separation of these functions.
The District uses the accrual basis of accounting, recognizing revenues when they become measurable (the amount of the transaction can be determined) and available (collectible within the current period or soon enough thereafter to be used to pay liabilities of the current period). Non-current receivables are not recognized until they become current receivables. Revenues from water sales are subject to accrual. Plant Investment Fees, Water Acquisition Fees, and other fees are not accrued for budgetary purposes. Expenses are recorded when the related fund liability is incurred except for:
- memberships, insurance, assessments and other services which extend over more than one accounting period are accounted for as expenditures for the period of acquisition;
- principal and interest on long-term debt is recognized when due; and
- accumulated unpaid compensated absences not expected to be paid within the next year are posted as long-term debt.
The District operates as a Water Activity Enterprise, as established by Resolution in 1993, and is therefore exempt from the requirements and limitations of Section 20, Article X of the Colorado Constitution.