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08/24/2006 ~ The Utility Board, after a public hearing during their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, August 23rd, approved the Fiscal Year (FY)* 2007 budget and five-year financial plan (2007 – 2011).

The approved budget includes a $42 million revenue bond issue which is intended to provide necessary funding for capital improvements within Keys Energy Services (KEYS) system. Such capital projects include, but are not limited to, distribution improvements designed to “harden” the system by replacing all wooden poles with concrete poles; construction of a new substation on Stock Island to satisfy demand; construction of new feeders at the Big Pine Key Substation to satisfy increasing load; replacement of substation transformers; conversion to a remote electronic meter reading system; and the installation of coolers at KEYS Stock Island Generating Facility which will replace salt water wells.

Budgeted Operations & Maintenance (O&M) expenses for FY 2007, of $92.0 million, are approximately $2.6 million higher than FY 2006. The cost to purchase power ($63.9 million) represents 69 percent of the entire O&M budget, with property and liability insurance, salaries and related benefits rounding out the difference.

In addition to the bond issue, KEYS will be implementing a base-rate increase effective October 1st. In conjunction with decreased natural gas prices and a forecasted lower Power Cost Adjustment charge (PCA), KEYS anticipates customers will experience a net decrease on their monthly energy bills after October 1st, despite the base-rate increase.

The regular meeting of the Utility Board took place at 5:00 p.m., August 23rd, in the Louis Carbonell Board Room of the William Arnold Service Building, 1001 James Street, Key West.

*KEYS Fiscal Year runs from October 1st through September 30th

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