The LCA Board of Directors adopted the 2021 budget on October 26, 2020.
LCA’s budget is divided into three basic funds: Allentown (City) Division, Suburban Water and Suburban Wastewater. Within each budget, costs are further divided into operating units, internal service (overhead) categories, laboratory/support services and capital expenses.
The Allentown (City) Division budget includes both water and sewer system expenses, both operating and capital expenses, associated with LCA’s operating lease of the City’s systems. These expenses are funded through water and sewer rates that are dictated by the 50-year lease agreement, as well as charges to municipalities in accordance with inter-municipal agreements. Capital expenses are paid through a combination of operating revenues, borrowing, tapping fees and contributions from the City for specific City-funded work.
The Suburban Water budget covers operating and capital budgets for all LCA-owned water systems and is funded through LCA’s water rates as well as through any additional borrowing that may be necessary to fund capital expenses.
The Suburban Wastewater budget covers operating and capital budgets for all LCA-owned sewer systems including collector systems, interceptors and wastewater treatment plants. This budget is funded through LCA’s sewer rates to direct customers and municipalities, as well as through any additional borrowing that may be necessary to fund capital expenses.
LCA’s 2021 – 2025 Capital Plans for all service areas were adopted by our Board of Directors in March 2020. The $74 million plan includes both water and wastewater projects that will benefit more than 150,000 residents in 17 municipalities across Lehigh and Northampton counties, including the City of Allentown.
The plan, which includes details for projects to be completed in the next 5 years or more, will be funded through LCA’s rate structure, reserve funds and future borrowings. Under the proposed plan, Suburban Division water system capital improvements would be justified by current water rates and the use of available reserve funds.
In the Allentown Division, capital funding comes in several forms, including some projects that will be paid directly by the City of Allentown. Other projects will be funded through borrowing LCA will manage, and costs recovered through rate increases as projects are completed.
LCA’s capital plan is focused on projects that will allow us to continue providing high-quality, reliable and affordable water and sewer service to existing and future customers. Project highlights in the plan include development of additional wastewater treatment capacity to meet future needs; upgrades at all of our water and wastewater treatment plants; and significant investments in our water and sewer system infrastructure to reduce leakage and enhance system reliability.
Individual projects included in the plan will be considered for inclusion in LCA’s annual budget and will require further Board authorization.
Want to know more? Download a full copy of LCA’s Capital Plans: