“WILMINGTON—The discovery of the chemical compound known as GenX in the Cape Fear River has cost ratepayers more than just peace of mind.

As of this month, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has spent approximately $1.7 million dealing with the compound and is preparing to spend $46 million more to potentially remedy the situation.

Executive Director of CFPUA Jim Flechtner made a presentation to the CFPUA Board Wednesday regarding emerging contaminants, and potential solutions.

But treating water does not come cheap, upgrading the plant is expected to cost $46 million upfront, as well as $2.7 million annually. This expense would be passed onto the ratepayers for the next 25-years…

‘Every $1 million is about a 1.4 percent rate increase to our overall rates and that is something that our customers shouldn’t have to pay, but the reality is the legal process … won’t move fast enough to get that resolved before we are faced with the financial decision and policy decision of what do we do at our plant,’ Flechtner said.

‘To fund this we would issue debt, we would issue bonds that would be paid by the ratepayers over the next 25-years, that’s about a 7-percent rate increase.’ — Jim Flechtner

According to the presentation, this 7-percent rate increase would be on average $60 more annually, or $5 a month.”

Read the full article by Michael Praats