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Budget Q&A: What Cities Should Consider Going into Budget Season
As cities across the country prepare for budget season, we wanted to offer some helpful tips to consider when budgeting for municipal water operations.
Outdated SCADA technology and equipment can hinder your water operations and put a dent in your budget. So we brought in our SitePro Municipal Consultant, Darrell Newsom, to chat about some ways your city can save money for its water operations infrastructure.
Darrell: “My name is Darrell Newsom. I'm a consultant for SitePro. I'm a retired city manager from the City of Wolfforth.”
Darrell worked as the city manager for Wolfforth for 12 years. He has experience managing a city's budget and leveraging that budget to optimize the city's water utilities. The City of Wolfforth was one of SitePro's first municipal customers.
Darrell: “I had worked with SitePro for a while. We worked on some different projects together, so (SitePro's) Leadership approached me to do some consulting work for the company. So what I do now is go with the sales representatives and meet with city councils and employees of the city and work on the managerial type of things.”
Q: “What are some things city officials should consider going into budget season?”
Darrell: "Budget season is really important, and in the world that SitePro touches - which is primarily the water and wastewater products and the projects that you’ll have. So it's very important that a lot of things are considered in the budget for water and wastewater. And that's on the enterprise side of most cities’ budgets and it's the money-making side of the budget."
Here are some of the things Darrell recommends city government employees look at going into budget season:1. Make sure your current rate studies are up-to-date.
- Are you making money?
- Are your water and wastewater systems working properly and efficiently?
Darrell: “You might work with a consultant of some kind to talk about those rates.”
2. Look at the capital budget for big-ticket items that need to be addressed.
a. How old is your equipment and how much is it going to cost to replace it?
Darrell: “Budgets really should reflect back on some type of asset management program.”
3. Check expenses for unnecessary costs.
a. Is your current SCADA system costing you more money than it's worth?
b. Are certain projects taking too much money?
Interested in some more helpful tips and maybe learning about how SitePro can help your city with water utility budgets? Click the button below to schedule a quick demo. We'd love to help!