City audit claims Albuquerque Water Authority owes thousands

From sprinkler systems to the faucets in your home, the Water Authority has water lines that run citywide. 

“The Water Authority has a franchise agreement with the city of Albuquerque in order to have our assets in the ground underneath city streets and right of ways,” said David Morris, Water Authority spokesman. 

Morris said the Authority has an agreement to pay the city 4% of its gross revenue each year, averaging $7.5 million.  However, in an audit released late last month, the city claims the Water Authority excluded close to $190,000 in revenue from the yearly totals. 

“The city found certain revenue that they believe should be included as part of the gross revenue from which the franchise fee is derived,” said Morris. 

Morris said the Authority is working with the city to resolve the issues. “We obviously want to do what’s right, both for our relationship with the city and for our ratepayers,” he said. 

As for exactly how much money they will agree on, that remains unclear. but it could be coming out of your pocket. 

“These franchise fees come directly from Water Authority customers. It’s a pass-through… so we have to be careful about increasing those because that’s like a tax on those residents,” said Morris. 

The audit also revealed a handful of residents’ accounts may have been misidentified as county properties but should have been city and vice versa. They are also are working to resolve that issue. 

The city released a statement saying the audit was routine, and that city attorneys are reviewing the final report before coming to an agreement with the Water Authority. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

 

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