Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority

Key West, Florida, United States

The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) is the public water supplier for the Florida Keys located in Monroe County. Raftelis has assisted FKAA with financial and rate planning for both its potable water system and its various wastewater systems located in unincorporated Monroe County.

Financial and Rate Consulting

Raftelis assisted with a capital funding analysis for up to $100 million of revenue bonds to upgrade infrastructure including backup supply and system redundancy. Raftelis worked with FKAA and its financial advisor to develop various capital funding scenarios and rate impact analysis. Hurricane Irma, in September 2017, has delayed implementation of this program.

Raftelis also assisted FKAA by consolidating and reducing its wastewater rates as a result of efficiencies gained with the expansion of the central wastewater system into the Cudjoe Key area. Prior to expansion into the Cudjoe area, Raftelis evaluated the existing wastewater system revenue sufficiency and rate structure. Using historical billing data and other septic to sewer conversion data, a proforma wastewater analysis with new Cudjoe wastewater service indicated that wastewater rate relief would be achievable. As the Cudjoe system began operations and operational costs and revenues were confirmed, a 15% reduction in wastewater rates was implemented by the FKAA Board in August 2016.

Raftelis has presented to the Board an alternative rate index policy in order for rates to better keep pace with inflationary cost pressures and avoid “catch up” rate increases in future years. The rate index policy also recommended a change in the rate index implementation to the beginning of each fiscal year to better align with the budget process and rate planning and communication initiatives.

Other Raftelis work with FKAA has included a comprehensive miscellaneous charge evaluation and consolidation of wastewater system development charges from a district-based approach to a uniform system development charge.

Utility Acquisition Services

Raftelis (previously Public Resources Management Group (PRMG)) also assisted the Authority in the review of the potential purchase of the wastewater service area owned by Key West Resorts (Stock Island System), Inc. and Key Haven Utility, Inc. Activities have included:

  • Developing an acquisition strategy that included current equity and the payment of futures due to the availability of unused capacity
  • Developing a going concern and debt capacity evaluation to identify a reasonable purchase price from a financial viewpoint
  • Attending negotiation meetings between the Authority and the seller

Wastewater System Implementation

Monroe County is under a mandate from the State of Florida to implement an advanced wastewater treatment program to eliminate point and non-point pollution, which was assigned to the Authority to implement. Raftelis (previously Public Resources Management Group (PRMG)) provided extensive assistance in the evaluation of providing central wastewater services. Responsibilities included:

  • Developing a financial plan to implement the utility for various project phases
  • Developing a preliminary rate system and system development (impact) charges, utility connection policies, and customer impact analyses
  • Assisting in preparation of wastewater rules and policies
  • Assisting in public information presentations

Raftelis assisted the Authority with the establishment of the Little Venice, Bay Point, Big Coppitt, Layton and Conch Key/Duck Key sewer districts and the establishment of rates for such respective districts. Since this establishment, PRMG has assisted in the update of rates and financial plans as the districts became operational.

Bond Feasibility Studies

Raftelis (previously Public Resources Management Group (PRMG)) coordinated with the Authority’s consulting engineers in the preparation of project feasibility reports for the Water Revenue and Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2006 and the Water Revenue Bonds, Series 2007. The feasibility reports were included in the Official Statement for each respective bond issue.