The continued success of the natural gas expansion efforts of Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) is expected to generate $813,000 in new annual revenue for the City of Norwich, the utility announced on Tuesday as part of its December 2018 Board Meeting.
“The taxpayers of Norwich demonstrated their confidence in our ability to grow our natural gas infrastructure, and clearly, NPU has delivered,” said Chris LaRose, Acting General Manager of NPU. “As a result, the City of Norwich will see millions of dollars of new revenue every year as we increase our revenue and manage the repayment of the bonds without any impact on the taxpayer.”
As of the end of October 2018, new annual revenue from NPU’s natural gas expansion now exceeds $3 million, which translates to an additional $300,000 for the City’s General Fund, based on the City Charter requirement that NPU return 10% of its revenues for electricity, natural gas and water services to the City.
The calculation is based on revenues from more than 2,100 new natural gas customers that have been added to NPU’s system. A portion of the new natural gas revenues are used by NPU to repay the bonds, so there is no impact on the taxpayers of Norwich for the natural gas expansion.
NPU’s natural gas expansion has also facilitated significant private investment by Enbridge, formerly Spectra Energy, to build two separate gate stations at a cost of nearly $10 million. The gate stations measure the flow of natural gas that is received by NPU and also reduces natural gas pressure from the high pressure transmission lines to the lower pressure distribution pipelines that serve commercial and residential customers.
The first natural gas gate station in the Oakland Heights neighborhood of Norwich, completed in 2016, generates approximately $363,000 in annual tax revenue, according to the City Tax Assessor. The second facility on Salem Turnpike, completed in September of this year, is likely to generate a minimum of an additional $150,000 beyond what Enbridge is already paying. A new mill rate will be determined by the City in 2019.
When the voters of Norwich were asked to approve $20.5 million in bond referendums for NPU in 2010, 2012 and 2014, the expectation was that the investment would result in new revenues for NPU and in turn, additional revenues for the City of Norwich. With these two significant milestones passed earlier this fall, NPU will continue to deliver very strong returns for the taxpayers of Norwich in the years ahead.
Over the past 12 years, NPU’s annual contribution to the City’s General Fund has totaled more than $100 million.