Atlantic City Council approves AMU budget


December 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, approved a resolution accepting the 2012 Budget for the Atlantic Municipal Utilities (AMU), which the Utilities’ Board had adopted earlier this week, following a public hearing. Steve Tjepkes, with AMU, said the proposed budget for the Electric and Water Departments for Calendar Year 2012 totals nearly $10.8-million, which is an increase of almost $665,000, or 6.6%, over the current year re-estimate. The increased cost is being offset with increases in AMU’s retail electric rates.

Tjepkes says the increase, which went into effect in November, varies from 10- to 14-percent, due to the season and cost of energy prices. He says as far as the water distribution system is concerned, this was the first out of nine years AMU actually sold more gallons of water, as compared to previous years. Plans next year call for work on two water towers, which will cost about $175,000.  Tjepkes says there will be NO rate increases for AMU’s water customers in 2012.

The budget he says, includes $1.2-million for other system improvements, as well. That includes the completion of mapping their water distribution facilities via GPS, an energy efficiency program which uses programmable theromstats as a way to control peak usagae of electricty during the Summer months, and, automated meter reading systems, to better help the utlility detect and find outages more quickly.

Tjepkes says AMU’s revenues were down for the third year in a row, due to a decrease in excess energy sales, which he attributed in-part, to the economy. The utility will transfer $360,000 to the City of Atlantic in lieu of paying property taxes, which is a common practice. Their contribution equals about 3.3% of AMU’s annual revenues, and is designed to offset AMU’s utility charges to the City.