8th Annual Tim's Trot Sunday, September 23 Holliston High School.
Get Your gutters leaf proofed by John Gagnon. Call 508 429 4884
Celebrate Holliston Saturday Sept. 22nd
Historical Society Harvest Fair Sept. 23rd

Enterprise Funding: Pros and Cons

by Jeff Weise
October 25, 2010

Water Department Enterprise Funding: Pros and Cons  


In 1986 legislation was passed in Massachusetts that enabled communities to establish enterprise funds for specified municipal activities including water and waste water operations.  Enterprise funds are not a reserve or source of money.  Rather, enterprise funding is an accounting tool; used to account for operations that are financed and operated like a separate business or where greater accountability of revenues and expenses is desired.

To date approximately 700 individual municipal operations in MA are said to have converted to enterprise funding, including well over half of the water and sewer departments.  Enterprise funding is used for water in Ashland, Framingham, Medfield, Medway and Natick, among others.


Enterprise Funding: Pros and Cons  
1. Revenues remain with the enterprise. Funds can    
 be accumulated for capital projects so bonding can be avoided.   
2. The use of retained earnings from year to year can                         
 earn interest, help to stabilize rates, pay for capital    
 expenditures or improvements                                                          
3.  The extent of general government support is specifically    
 identified and the true cost  of the operation is
4) The cost of general government support is compensated    
 by the enterprise.       

5) The accounting of fixed assets and depreciation can
 provide a good indication of the value of the resources
 devoted to providing the service and the level of
 investment required to maintain those resources.

6) Financial transactions are reported using standard
 accounting practices similar to the private sector.
 Revenues are recognized when earned.  Expenses
 are recognized when incurred.  Both become more

7) The DEP encourages the use of enterprise funds to keep
 up with maintenance and capital expenses and to remain
 self sustaining.

8) Using enterprise funding is encouraged to facilitate timely
 application for and utilization of grants.


1. Enterprise funds require somewhat more accounting time
to keep the funds separate and to account for the annual depreciation of assests.
2. Should revenues of the enterprise be deficient, they must
 be made up the following year through an increase in rates.

Establishing an enterprise fund allows communities to more easily account for revenues and expenses a sociated with a particular service, to maintain separate interest baring accounts, and to accumulate reserve funds for future capital needs. The intent is to improve the management and financing information for the enterprise by (a) indicating the total cost of providing the service, (b) presenting the impact on rates and charges of

any budget changes and (c) expressly identify the extent of tax support (if any).

Jeff Weise, Chair, Board of Water Commissioners. 


E-mail This Article

Comments (1)

Thank you for a providing the taxpayers with a clear definition of the controversial enterprise fund proposal.

- Bill | 10/25/10 12:05 PM



Recent Articles by Jeff Weise:

Just a Drop to Drink

It has been said that few people pay much attention to water until the day that they open the tap and nothing comes out.

Continue ...

Open Casino Letter to the People of Everett, MA

Having read in the April 2 Boston Globe that prospect for a casino at Suffolk Downs is losing its support, and now having listened to the lengthy presentation recently offered to you by Steve Wynn (http://www.envisioneverett.com/#teletownhall), Everett should definitely vote “Yes” for the casino.

Continue ...

Bonney Drive Resident Takes a Stand

Yesterday I wrote the following letter and, with a copy of the bull's eye map, took copies to each of the seventeen houses on my street. I was impressed by several things: First, general awareness that this is an issue but, second, lack of specific knowledge and/or a sense of imminence. Several said, "I know this was an active issue last year but thought it then faded away." Also, although Bonney Drive is just three miles from the site many people still did not know that.


Continue ...

Why a Total Outside Watering Ban?

Why did the present "Total Outside Watering Ban" suddenly happen?


Continue ...

Water Usage Analyzed

Water Usage Analyzed To the Residents of Holliston: Holliston’s expanded Mandatory Water Use Ban was lifted on September 1st. To all who complied with the emergency request: Thank you!


Continue ...


Recent Articles in Comments:

Casey Rothschild Holliston's American Ninja Warrior

by Paul Saulnier

Casey Rothschild, a 20-year-old junior at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, has become the youngest woman to qualify on the American Ninja Warrior course on the NBC show's Monday night broadcasts.

Continue ...


by Paul Saulnier

September 13, 2018. Representatives of Mayflower Inc, made a presentation to residents of Holliston in the Gilman Room of the Holliston Library. Judging by the number of people in attendance, this business is not of concern to residents of Holliston.

Continue ...

Police Log for Week of September 9 - 15, 2018

by Paul Saulnier

How many traffic stops can two HPD officers make between 6 PM and midnight?


Continue ...

Kickin’ it to Kenya, Connecting it in Holliston

by Nichole Dickinson

On Friday, September 7th, 150 plus fun-loving, supportive, generous adults celebrated at Anthony’s on the Green in honor of the mission and dedication of five Holliston families traveling to Kenya over February 2019 school vacation

Continue ...

7207 Holliston to Kenya Saturday Fundraiser

by Paul Saulnier

Building a soccer field in Kenya is not easy but a few Holliston families are willing to do whatever it takes.

Continue ...