City of Greeley

Greeley, Colorado, United States

Raftelis professionals have completed a variety of water and wastewater utility financial studies for the City of Greeley (City) since the mid-1990s (services prior to 2013 were provided by our team members while with a previous employer). Since 2008, our professionals have annually assisted staff in updating the City’s water and wastewater utility financial planning and rate and fee analyses and providing quality assurance and management reviews as well as focused technical assistance around utility rates and fees. Assistance provided since 2013 includes developing a financial plan that included a detailed billing analysis, evaluating the rate of return and rate base for contract water customers, evaluating changes to outside City full service sewer customer rates and the relationship to inside City full service sewer rates, developing revenue requirement projections and review of the capital improvement program and reassessment of proposed debt service issues for both the water and wastewater utilities, and modernizing both utility financial planning and rate models to incorporate a decision-making dashboard with scenario analysis capabilities while streamlining customer input and reporting.

The City’s water and wastewater financial plans promotes revenue stability during a challenging economic environment; incorporates adequate, defensible, equitable rates; and outlines a sustainable long-term financial path for the City.

Raftelis completed a stormwater financial planning and rate study for the City in 2015. The stormwater utility is managed by the City’s Public Works Department. As part of the study, a 10-year stormwater utility financial plan and revenue requirements analysis was developed to support multiple capital and capital funding scenarios. Working with City staff, a recommended financial plan was developed that incorporates debt and cash funded capital improvements to accelerate the construction of capital improvements previously cash funded while increasing funding for annual recurring operating costs. Study findings and recommendations were presented to City Council and were adopted and have been implemented January 1st of 2016, 2017 and 2018. We also created a new financial planning and rate model for the City that incorporates a graphically driven and interactive decision-making dashboard with robust scenario analysis capabilities. Following delivery of this tool, the City has maintained and updated the model as part of the annual budget and financial planning and scenario analysis.

The City has retained Raftelis in 2018 to update the 2015 study and evaluate the feasibility of a planned 2018 debt issue that continues the approach of debt and cash funding stormwater capital improvements. Also included in this study will be enhancing the stormwater financial planning and rate model created as part of the 2015 study, updating the rolling 10-year financial plan and rate revenue projections, assisting the City with presenting findings and recommendations to City Council in support of future annual rate revenue adjustments. The stormwater rate structure and impact fees are also anticipated to be evaluated by Raftelis in 2018.

Raftelis also updated development impact fees for transportation, park/trails, police and fire facilities. Our work includes updating plant investment fees for water, sewer, and stormwater facilities. We are working with the Community Development Director to carry out an extensive stakeholder engagement plan. Also, our work with the Finance Director includes City Council work session to address housing affordability and alternative revenue strategies.