City of Tampa

Tampa, Florida, United States

Customer Management Technology Services

The City of Tampa (City) provides water, wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste services to more than 150,000 customer accounts. The City desired four new customer management applications including a new customer information system (CIS), mobile workforce management (MWM), customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI) solution to replace the legacy MSS utility billing application.

The City needed a new software acquisition strategy, along with system selection and implementation support services for the successful procurement and implementation of its new customer management solution. We began by defining the City’s software acquisition strategy, which involved the requisite resource planning, clarifying the specific products, integrations, and services to be acquired, and defining the individual roles and project decision process. Our system selection efforts included process definition, detailed business and technical requirements gathering, and assisting the City with the RFP development, software vendor evaluation, and vendor contract negotiations for the four applications.

Our team’s implementation support services for the new Cayenta CIS solution included successful project management, test management, and organizational change management (OCM) services. Key integrations and interfaces to other City systems included financial, geographic information system (GIS), and the City’s permitting system.

Implementation of these modern, integrated customer management applications and supporting technologies significantly increased Tampa’s business functionality, improved responsiveness to customer demands, streamlined internal business processes, and integrated valuable information access across the City.

Organizational Assessment and Strategic Planning 

The City of Tampa’s Water Department (Water Department) initiated a process to create an updated vision for the future and a plan to drive progress toward the organization’s most important goals. This process was facilitated by Raftelis and driven by the Water Department leadership team. It included opportunities for participation and input from the employees, City department representatives, and other external stakeholders.

Raftelis was engaged by the Water Department to first conduct an organizational assessment based on the Effective Utility Management framework, and then to use the results to inform a new organizational strategic plan. Stakeholder engagement and employee involvement were vital parts of both phases and included facilitating and coordinating Attribute and Goal Team meetings; analyzing employee-provided data to support assessment of performance gaps across the Water Department’s operation; leading employee outreach efforts (focus groups, individual interviews, and an online survey); and creating assessment and strategic planning deliverables.

The organizational assessment focused on:

  • The presence of best practices at the Water Department, as identified in the EPA’s Effective Utility Management (EUM) initiative
  • Current performance and organizational targets around each of EUM’s attributes of an effectively managed utility
  • Priority areas for additional organizational effort and improvements
  • How the Water Department performs relative to industry benchmarks and other organizations that have undergone similar exercises.

The strategic planning process was designed to ensure:

  • A shared vision of the Water Department’s goals and desired future state
  • Continued acceptance of the direction and importance of the strategic plan for achieving the Water Department’s ultimate goals
  • A collective understanding of the resource needs, commitments, working environment, and principles upon which progress will be based

Based on the results of the organizational assessment and strategic planning work, the Water Department developed a new vision and mission statement. It also elected to make Employee Engagement and Development, Customer and Stakeholder Satisfaction, Operational Resiliency, Process Optimization, and Infrastructure Stability its core focus areas for the next five years and has initiated its strategic plan implementation effort.

View Strategic Plan


Water and Wastewater System Financial Forecast

Raftelis (previously Public Resources Management Group (PRMG)) has served the City of Tampa’s water and wastewater system since 2005. Most recently, Raftelis was retained by the City of Tampa to prepare a 20-year financial forecast and rate study for the City’s water and wastewater systems that also addressed the City’s needs to implement a monthly base charge for the first time. The project involved developing a forecast of utility system revenues, operating and maintenance expenses, and capital funding needs.

The forecast of operation and maintenance expenses recognized changes in cost due to inflation and system growth. The capital funding plan was based on the City’s capital improvement program, which included expansion-related expenditures, and a significant increase in renewal and replacement-related expenditures.

As part of the study process, Raftelis developed a utility financial model that was used to evaluate alternative capital funding scenarios, including pay-as-you-go versus debt financing of capital expenditures. The study also evaluated the City’s current rate structures, and recommended the implementation of future rate increases, including the incorporation of a monthly base facility charge in the utility rate structure.

The financial forecast and rate study concluded in September 2019, and in 2020 the City engaged Raftelis to prepare a bond feasibility study for the issuance of the Series 2020 Revenue and Refunding Bonds, which concluded in September 2020.

Bond Feasibility Disclosure Reports

In order to assist the City in the funding of its long-range capital improvement program, Raftelis has prepared bond feasibility disclosure reports documenting the ability of the utility system to meet the rate, flow of funds, and additional bonds test covenants and requirements associated with the issuance of: i) in the aggregate principal amount of $129 million of Water and Wastewater Improvement and Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2011; ii) in the aggregate principal amount of $90 million of Water and Wastewater System Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2015; and iii) in the aggregate principal amount of $270 million of Water and Wastewater Revenue and Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2020, as required in the authorizing Bond Resolution. The bond feasibility disclosure reports included in the City’s Official Statement (bond prospectus) summarized, among other things, the historical and projected operating results for the utility system. The financial forecasts included projected customers, sales (use), and revenues from water and wastewater rates, projected operations and maintenance expenses, a presentation of the capital funding plan and corresponding capital expenditures for the utility system, and a presentation of the estimated fund balances based on the accounts and funds maintained by the City and established by the Bond Resolution. As part of the preparation of the reports, the impact of issuing new debt on utility financial operations was examined. Based on the financial forecast and the repayment parameters of the revenue bond issues, additional bonds tests and projected debt service coverage ratios were calculated pursuant to the requirements set forth in the City’s Bond Resolution. In addition, among other documentation, a consultant’s parity certificate was prepared which summarized the results of the City’s additional bonds test as required by the Bond Resolution.