Protection of the Lake Whatcom

The Initiative Group

Watershed Protection Plan -- Finance and Economics

There are many variables in the calculation of the financial activity of the FWP program.

Income will be derived basically from the water user fee -- a combination of per-household and business/industrial fees. Cash-flow may be accelerated in the early years, with a municipal bond, which will be repaid from the users-fee collections. Other income sources may also be available.

The expenses of the program will be largely for land acquisition. Administrative costs, for staff who will buy the land, and for staff who will manage it, must come out of the revenues. Interest payments and repayment of the capital amount of the bond, are other expenses. Direct maintenance expenses will need to be covered.

The number of households and businesses receiving a water bill is about 22,000, and growing each year at a rate of about 3%. At $10/month, or $120/year, this provides over $2.5 million each year.

The number of industries receiving a water bill is much smaller, but they pay current fees based on how much water they take, measured in units of "ccft" - hundred cubic feet. We don't have reliable numbers at our fingertips of actual consumption and dollar-billing to industry, but the amount is substantial, and would also be increased under the proposal.

We have prepared a calculation tool to permit easy review of these alternatives, and it can be yours as well. It is a what-if model. This means the formulas are built-in, but the actual numbers are variables which you can change and see the results.

  • What-If the cost per household is less (or more); -- what will the program accomplish -- how much money raised and lands bought?
  • What-If the industrial rate is set low (or high); -- what will the program accomplish -- how much money raised and lands bought?
  • What-If the purchase policy favors acreage over houselots; -- how-much of each will be acquired each year?
  • ..... and so on for each quantity and cost.....!

The spreadsheet for the calculations includes space for YOU to insert the numbers which you know, and see what the result would be.

    The variables include, for each category :
  • Number of (households/businesses/industries)= _______
  • Rate: $/ccft or $/household/year= _______
  • Consumption: flat-rate= a year (for households)
  • Consumption: ccft/year= _______ (for industry)
  • ... and others...

Download the TIG $preadsheet; (both are virus-free: McAfee)
MS-Excel ver2 (for Windows, 30kB), ..or.. Quattro-Pro ver4 (for DOS; 24kB).
Do your own trials and change the numbers, then please send us your preferred financial plan.

. Do you read the fine-print? Since almost nobody will reply to this offer, and since we are just plain citizens, those few people who DO give us feedback will really have some clout on our recommendations! Use the code-word "mark"; say something to us, and see!

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The Initiative Group -- Whatcom
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edited November 3rd , 1999 -- mgb
Bellingham, Washington 98226 --- The Fourth Corner of the USA
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