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CU seeks to expand budget

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Last edited 9:19 a.m., Aug. 26, 2019

The Board of Public Utilities for Springfield City Utilities yesterday approved an expanded fiscal 2020 budget.

The budget, pending City Council approval, authorizes $623.7 million in disbursements, according to a news release. That’s up roughly 5% compared with the current fiscal year’s revised budget of $594.1 million. Receipts in fiscal 2020 are expected to rise 20% to $643.5 million from a revised figure of $534.6 million for fiscal 2019, according to the budget proposal. Officials cited financing proceeds, as well as the final of three water and natural gas rate adjustments.

The fiscal 2020 operating budget includes $31 million for CU’s SpringNet division to invest in an expansion of its fiber network to support a recently announced public-private partnership with CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL).

CU expects to invest $120 million over a three-year period to add over 1,000 additional fiber route miles on top of 700 currently in operation. CenturyLink would lease the network to provide high-speed, gigabit internet service to Queen City businesses and homes, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.

Other fiscal 2020 planned expenses include infrastructure replacement of water and natural gas mains; installation of automated metering for electric, natural gas and water systems; and energy-efficiency projects, according to the release.

Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and first reading Sept. 9, following by a second reading Sept. 23.

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