Capital Improvement Overview – During its first two decades, the District actively constructed and upgraded critical infrastructure to ensure the reliability of its water system. The biggest challenge facing water utilities now and into the future is the need to replace aging infrastructure, which is projected to cost billions throughout the United States. Since the District has been proactive through two Capital Improvement Programs (CIP), the District has minimized significantly the risk of aging infrastructure and reduced overall costs for the future through various improvements.
1st Five-Year Capital Improvement Program – On March 11, 1997, a 79% voter approval gave the green light to the District’s $23 million CIP to address deficiencies identified in the 1994 Water System Management Plan. The District issued $13 million in Water Revenue Bonds in 1999 with the remaining $10 million bonds issued as part of the Series 2002 Bonds. A Bond Oversight Committee, now known as the Finance Oversight Committee, has actively watched over the CIP to ensure the funding was spent as the voters agreed.
2nd 10-Year Capital Improvement Program – In August 2004, the Board approved a second 10-year Capital Improvement Program to continue to upgrade Metro’s service areas. While the 1st 5-year CIP greatly improved Metro’s overall system, it was recognized that further improvements were necessary to meet present and future water demands.
In October 2004, the Board called for a bond election to finance the first phase of the 10-year CIP. In March 2005, 83 percent of those who voted approved the $28 million bond. Subsequently, the District obtained a loan agreement from the Water Infrastructure Financing Authority of Arizona for $15.375 million in October 2005 for the design and construction of six major capital projects with funds expended by October 2008 for this phase of the 10-year Capital Improvement Program. On November 9, 2007, the Water Infrastructure Financing Authority of Arizona approved the second phase of the $28 million Capital Improvement Program with a loan in the amount of $12.625 million dollars.
In October 2008, the Board decided not to pursue another bond election due to the financial uncertainties of the overall economy.
To date, the District has installed over 100,000 linear feet of transmission mains, replaced approximately 150,000 linear feet of aged and undersized waterlines in neighborhoods and other locations, installed and improved water supply wells and pumping facilities, installed auxiliary power, and completed construction of over 10 million gallons water storage facilities.
Future Capital Improvements – The District routinely identifies capital projects that will continue to improve the water system. The District funds the annual CIP through its priority driven budget.