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SWA audit shows growth

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Southwest Water Authority has grown in assets and business over the past 10 years, its board of directors learned from an audit report Monday at its monthly meeting.

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Pat Brown, an accountant with Brady, Martz & Associates, said the organization’s assets have grown from $9.3 million in 2004 to $21 million now. Its operating revenues, which include water sales, grew from $4.6 million to $13.8 million over the same period.

Meanwhile, administrative expenses only grew from $400,000 to $600,000, staying “pretty flat,” Brown pointed out.

The group grew from 20 to 39 employees over the same time period, according to the report.

The authority also discussed “freeze-up costs” associated with the strange winter weather. With the extended periods of cold, frost extended as deep as 10 feet below ground, Southwest Water CEO Mary Massad said, causing “a lot of freeze-ups we’ve never seen before.”

Thawing the pipes costs SWA money — one customer’s pipes were so frozen it took weeks and an estimated $20,000 to get them back online again, she said. Massad said she just wanted the board to be aware of the issue, and said they may need a protocol in the future.

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