The Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities (BOPU) approved the water and sewer department’s recommended Fiscal Year 2015 Budget at a Special Budget Board Meeting on Monday.

According to a news release, the largest section of the water and sewer budget is construction. The BOPU is planning $34.6 million in water and sewer projects. Operations and maintenance of the water and sewer systems is expected to cost $17.2 million. Capital assets/equipment is expected to cost $1.2 million and debt service is expected to cost $7.0 million.

Funding for the water and sewer systems comes from water and sewer sales and fees, grants, water and sewer enterprise fund cash and loans. Services and fees are expected to generate approximately $33.5 million. The BOPU anticipates applying for $9.8 million in grants and $16.7 million will come from cash and loans.

Included in the recommended budget is a 3.5 percent rate increase for water services beginning January 1, 2015. Under the recommended rates, the average monthly water bill for 8,000 gallons per month will increase $1.28. The sewer rate includes a 5.0 percent rate increase with an additional $0.11 per 1,000 gallons to pay the debt service on the Southern Sewer Collection Main project. Under the recommended rates, the average monthly sewer bill for 4,000 gallons per month will increase $1.41.

The approved and recommended budget now goes to the Cheyenne City Council.