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IWA remains financially sound, efficient

April 13, 2012
By JIM LINETTE (jlinette@breezenewspapers.com) , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Island Water Association general manager William "Rusty" Isler will carry out his previously announced retirement on June 17 after 32 years of employment on Sanibel Island.

Isler's replacement is Don DuBrasky, who has served as assistant manager for the past several years. Isler was recognized for his service by the IWA board of directors at the association's annual meeting on April 9.

"It will be a sad day for me to leave this staff and board," said Isler. "Island Water is a great place to be and I want to thank all the employees and this board, who have been so good to me."

Article Photos

JIM LINETTE
Assistant general manager Don DuBrasky (left) has accepted the position as general manager of the Island Water Association when current GM William 'Rusty' Isler (right)retires on June 17.

IWA board president Robert Lindman addressed the meeting for the last time as his third two-year term expired at the end of the meeting. One other board member's term also expired, but secretary Jack Cunningham was reappointed to serve a second two-year term. Tim Gardner's appointment by the board's nominating committee was overwhelmingly approved through proxy voting. Having served six years on the board twice before, Gardner returns for a third time.

Lindman reported that though energy and fuel costs continue to rise, the IWA has made great strides in becoming more efficient and energy-saving through facility improvements and equipment while keeping revenues at a sustainable level.

"Our last rate increase was in March 2009, but inflation over that time has increased 48 percent," said Lindman. "Revenue has stayed the same and I attribute that to good management and the stability of our employee work force."

Five job vacancies at IWA have been filled in the last year, bringing the total number of employees to its highest level at 33.

"We have an aging work force," said Lindman. "One-third of our workers are under the age of 40, one-third are 40 to 50 and one-third over 50. We have addressed ways of replacing workers when they leave through training methods."

Board treasurer William Carr reported on the financial status, declaring the IWA "financially sound." He said revenues have remained steady since the 2009 rate increase at about $7 million a year with costs expected to exceed $5 million for the first time this year. Higher costs are due in part to the hiring of five new employees.

Capital improvement projects are expected to cost the IWA a little over $2 million this year plus about $650,000 in debt service. Those two items will be paid with the help of $1.2 million from reserve funds.

"We have plenty of reserves," said Carr. "There will not be a need to ask for a rate increase at this time. We are financially sound."

The largest current capital project for the year is the replacement of aging and failing pipes in the Dunes subdivision area, scheduled to start this week. Isler demonstrated improved material and technology being used in the Dunes and everywhere throughout the system.

 
 

 

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