Raleigh, City of
RFC has been assisting the City of Raleigh (City) Public Utilities Department (CORPUD) with financial issues since 2008.
In 2009, RFC completed a financial planning and conservation rate study for CORPUD. The City had a uniform volumetric rate structure for both water and wastewater, and was interested in implementing a rate structure that would encourage conservation. CORPUD’s historical billing data was limited, and extensive analysis was performed in order to determine the type of tiered rate structure that could be supported with the existing billing data, as well as be effective in accomplishing the conservation goals identified by CORPUD. The recommended structure included a three-tiered water rate structure for CORPUD’s residential customers, while CORPUD’s commercial/industrial customers will continue to pay a uniform volumetric rate. The new rates and rate structure, both water and wastewater, were designed to reflect cost of service and to ensure that each utility is independently self-supporting.
As part of this project, RFC designed a financial planning model that projects a ten-year forecast period, and is intended to be used for both future financial planning and financial feasibility projections for future revenue bond issues. The financial planning model incorporates CORPUD’s 10-year capital plan and the related financing of this plan, as well as projected operating expenses over the forecast period. The financial planning and rate model was a formal deliverable of the project.
RFC also performed a financial feasibility study as part of the City's $108 million Series 2011 revenue bond offering. The report prepared as a part of the study was included in the official statement and helped the City maintain a AAA rating.
In addition, RFC has worked with CORPUD as it implements its new customer information and billing system, to ensure that the new system captures the appropriate information for future enhancements to the rate structure, as well as better financial planning capabilities.
Organizational Analysis and Evaluation
CORPUD initiated an organizational analysis and development program, which resulted in the creation of a new CORPUD strategic plan. Central to this strategic plan was the recognition to focus on developing a structured employee and leadership development program. In support of this and other organizational development initiatives, CORPUD has recently begun an effort to institutionalize continuous improvement processes through the use of LEAN and Six Sigma methods.
RFC was retained to conduct a functional area review of key business processes using our Utilities Strengthening Series approach which is a structured organizational strengthening process, organized around four phases which include:
Engage: Establishing Strengthening Objectives and Outcomes
Assess: Determining Current Situation and Performance Levels
Compare: Determining Best Practice Goals
Enhance: Implementing Results via Continuous Improvement
RFC was also engaged to assist with an organizational analysis and evaluation of the quantitative and qualitative costs and benefits of moving the City’s stormwater utility from the Public Works Department to CORPUD.