In November, as part of the Proposition 218 process for adjusting utility rates, Urban Futures Inc. (UFI) submitted a proposal to the City of Needles to prepare a report on reimbursements owed from the City’s utility enterprise funds to the City’s general fund. The firm was selected through the competitive bid process to execute the Study in December of 2015.
Proposition 218 requires local governments to ensure utility rates are based on and include only costs directly related to providing the utility service. The City of Needles recently completed a Cost of Service Analysis (COSA) to determine if the utility system costs of service are financially sustainable under the current utility rate structure. After reviewing the COSA, the Needles Board of Public Utilities determined rate adjustments were necessary to ensure all costs to deliver water, sewer and electrical services continue to be fully covered by rates.
As part of the Proposition 218 process, UFI will perform a study to determine what general fund reimbursements may be appropriate from the utility enterprise funds. Under current State law, general fund monies and assets that support utility systems, operations and services are reimbursable from utility enterprise funds. This process is vitally important to ensure the City’s general fund is not encumbered by costs that should be paid by utility ratepayers.
“As we move through the Proposition 218 process, UFI will provide us with the independent analysis needed to ensure our utilities are operating at the appropriate level of financial autonomy and the City’s general fund remains financially integral and secure,” said City Manager Rick Daniels. “We selected the firm because of their reputation in this space and outstanding team.”
As cities evaluate their utility services and costs of service, UFI stands ready to provide a third party audit and review of financial records to ensure transparency and accountability from all involved.
Cities interested in utility rate studies should contact Mike Busch at (714) 283-9334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urban Futures, Inc. has been providing services to local governmental agencies for over 43 years. Operating as five divisions – UFI Public Management Group, UFI Public Finance Group, UFI Economic Development Group, Analytics and Compliance Group and Isom Advisors – UFI offers clients a growing portfolio of services and industry expertise that might otherwise be out of reach. Over 300 public agencies have benefited from partnering with UFI. UFI is based in Orange, CA with offices in Walnut Creek and El Dorado Hills. Visit their website at www.urbanfuturesinc.com or call (714) 283-9334.