PWC Transfer to City Above National Average
Darsweil Rogers, Public Works Commission Chairman on behalf of the PWC Board
In the Fayetteville Observer’s June 1 editorial about efforts to revise the Public Works Commission Charter, we agree that the City Council and PWC should have good discussions about the potential revisions and present a revised Charter to our local delegation that has the consensus of both bodies.
We would like to provide correct information about the editorial’s statement concerning the annual fund transfer from PWC to the City being well below the national average for similar sized public utilities. In fact, PWC’s contributions to the City are well above the national average.
The Public Works Commission is the 36th largest of over 2,000 municipal electric providers in the United State. Among the many benefits public power utilities provide to their communities, such as local jobs and fast response time, public power systems provide a direct benefit in the form of payments and contributions to local government.
In the most recent report by the American Public Power Association on payments and contributions to local government, the average transfer of all public power utilities is 5.5 percent of operating revenue and the average of utilities of PWC’s size is 6.6 percent.
Under the 2008 Transfer agreement between PWC and the City of Fayetteville, PWC’s transfer amount is based on 3.1 percent total net assets of the Electric Fund. At a glance, one would think the PWC transfer percentage is indeed below the national average. However, at a closer look of all the contributions made to the City, it is actually well above the national average as it does not reflect over $3 million in street lighting services provided at no cost to the City of Fayetteville.
When you consider the amount PWC transfers to the City and include the cost of street lighting, PWC’s comparable transfer to other municipalities in the United States is 8.5 percent. Even deducting the amount that the City contributes for the installation of water and sewer services in the annexed areas of Fayetteville, the percentage is 7.2 percent, still well above all the national averages.
We feel it’s also important to note the APPA report highlighted the significant benefit Public Power communities have to those served by investor-owned utilities. According to the report, the average amount contributed by municipal systems was 31 percent higher than investor-owned utilities, whose average payment to local government in lieu of taxes was just 4.2 percent.
PWC is proud to be Fayetteville’s hometown utility providing quality, reliable and affordable electric and water services with rates that are among the lowest in the state.
Our 600 employees’ commitment to our customers and community is recognized across the state and nation. From receiving the APPA’s highest designation of the RP3 (Reliable Public Power Provider) award four times and being the first North Carolina utility to receive the Partnership for Safe Drinking Water’s Director’s Award for outstanding commitment to quality, safe drinking water, PWC continues to be an asset to our community.