The Water Department operates on an enterprise accounting system. Each year the Town is reimbursed for expenses paid on behalf of the Water Department through Indirect Costs. The costs include expenses such as telephone service, insurance, legal fees, financial and personnel services, retirement benefits and police services. The Town Accountant calculates Indirect Costs each year for the last complete fiscal year.
The costs can vary from year to year and are particularly sensitive to changes in staffing levels. The Water Department is comprised of 3 full-time and one part-time employee. Costs rose by 48% in FY2017 because FY2016 costs were artificially low as the multi-year history shows.
In FY2014, on which the FY2016 costs were based, we were down one operator for 8 months of the year which lowered health and retirement expenses. The new operator was hired at the end of FY2014 and costs in FY2015 returned to normal levels. The cost increase from FY2015 to FY2017 is only 3% over two years.