AlexRenew Will Review Updates to FY2021 Budget in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Date: 
June 5. 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the landscape of our region and our community. The economic impact has had far-reaching and devastating effects on our city and our ratepayers. Many in our community are experiencing the realities of financial strain due to job loss or salary reduction, making it difficult to make ends meet. These are hardships that cannot be ignored. It is with these underlying challenges in mind that we recalibrate our approach to the way we conduct our essential work for the City of Alexandria.  

On Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., the AlexRenew Board of Directors will review and adopt the AlexRenew FY2021 budget during its regular monthly business meeting. This revised budget addresses our updated plan to adapt to the current pandemic and resulting economic impacts to our community, and it includes rates that are necessary to support AlexRenew’s operations and its mission.   

The FY2021 draft budget maintains our promise to complete the RiverRenew project by 2025 and make the needed investments to keep it on schedule. It also provides resources for other capital projects that are required to be completed prior to, and as part, of RiverRenew. These projects enable AlexRenew to meet state-mandated regulatory compliance, which ensure the environmental protection of Alexandria’s waterways. The draft budget includes reductions and deferments in capital programming wherever possible. 

Since most of AlexRenew’s critical funding comes from rates, the pandemic and economic downturn have resulted in a large decrease in our own revenue. In addition, we have also experienced cost increases associated with our efforts to keep our team of wastewater professionals protected while they provide 24/7 service. To balance these issues, the FY2021 draft budget includes a hiring freeze, merit pay freezes for all employees, and reductions in discretionary funding that do not affect compliance or ongoing RiverRenew efforts.

Taking these steps will allow us to decrease the originally approved rate increase of 11 percent to an effective rate increase of 6.6 percent for FY2021. These rates will help AlexRenew continue to provide quality wastewater services while executing the largest infrastructure project in Alexandria’s history—one that will help fuel the local economy at a critical time for our community.   

Throughout the pandemic, AlexRenew has quickly adapted to continue to provide its essential public health service to the City of Alexandria and keep our staff safe in the process, all while keeping the RiverRenew program on schedule in order to uphold the Commonwealth of Virginia mandate and improve the health of local waterways. This has been our mission since AlexRenew’s inception in 1952, and it is a commitment we will always keep, even in challenging times.

AlexRenew posted the draft budget to our website on Wednesday, June 10, and the approved budget on Wednesday, June 17. You can view both documents using this link: alexrenew.com/newsroom/budget-and-reports

If you have any questions about the budget, please email Director of Finance Christine McIntrye at christine.mcintyre@alexrenew.com.

To learn more about the RiverRenew program, please visit riverrenew.com.