Shadi Eskaf presented two sessions at the Montana League of Cities and Towns’ 87th Annual Conference. The conference was held in Butte, MT.
Roles and Responsibilities of Elected Officials and Staff in Water System Management
Who makes the decision about raising water rates? Who should decide when and how to issue a boil water notice to your customers? Making key decisions and operating municipal water systems requires both the governing body elected officials as well as the staff members and managers in the utilities department. There needs to be sufficient communication between the two groups and – just as important – a clear understanding of who is responsible for which aspects of managing the water system. In this interactive session, we had a dialogue about the roles and responsibilities of elected officials and utility managers, with some examples for discussion.
Budgeting for Municipal Water Utilities for Financial Longevity
Rate setting, financial management, and department budgeting are vital components to ensuring financial longevity for municipal operations. With increasing demand on utilities, expanding or declining populations, and the need for future infrastructure repair, it is necessary to look beyond short term financial planning and look towards financing for the future. This presentation was an overview of tracking and benchmarking past financial performance, projecting future capital costs, and resources available to water systems to assist in creating financial plans for the short term and long term.
Water system managers, staff, and elected officials were also invited to come by and meet with Shadi from the Environmental Finance Center to discuss issues and questions you have about the financial management and planning for your water system. Small water systems serving fewer than 10,000 people were especially encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.