Milian, Swain & Associates, Inc. (MSA) is committed to providing a team of highly qualified senior-level personnel who can provide water and wastewater utility financial and management services to our clients. Prior to the inception of MSA, while serving in senior management positions for the utility subsidiaries of one of the largest investor-owned utility companies in the State of Florida, members of our team were responsible for the procurement of financing, the preparation and control of all capital and operational budgets, the calculation of revenue deficiencies and revenue requirements, rate design, including determination and implementation of conservation water rates as well as the calculation and implementation of capital expansion fees, allowance for funds prudently invested (AFPI) and miscellaneous service charges. The following summaries are a representative sample of the services we provide.
COST OF SERVICE & RATE STUDIES
As water and wastewater systems age, and quality and service level standards increase, water and wastewater utilities are challenged to develop cost recovery strategies that will generate sufficient revenues to pay the cost of water and wastewater services while maintaining acceptable service levels for the users of the systems. Members of MSA’s staff have extensive experience in developing rate structures and appropriate funding programs sufficient to cover the costs of operation and maintenance, administration of the systems as well as the capital costs to meet customer needs and regulatory standards. Our team members have participated in over two hundred different Water and Wastewater Cost of Service Studies for both municipal and private utility systems, prepared minimum filing requirements (MFRs) as required by the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC), and has also prepared and presented expert testimony in the area of regulatory accounting, rate regulation, and utilities in general before federal, county, and state courts and regulatory agencies.
CAPITAL PLANNING & FUNDING
Capital improvements programs are comprised of projects that are typically financed by long-term borrowings, low interest loans, operating revenues and capital expansion fees. The projects included in a capital improvement program are usually necessary to provide additional capacity for customer growth, to comply with regulatory requirements, and to improve the operating efficiencies of the water and wastewater systems. Our staff members have diverse and in-depth experience in developing multi-year capital improvement program funding plans; capital expansion fees and charges; new sewer program funding programs; preparing State Revolving Fund loan applications; and providing Revenue Bond support including the preparation of bond feasibility reports.
BUSINESS PROCESS ANALYSIS & IMPROVEMENT
Every business process exists to provide a product or service for a defined customer. According to business research, poor service or quality can cost organizations 20 to 25 percent of their gross revenues. Whether it’s a new process design – a previously outsourced function, or a process redesign – due to a change in financial resource availabilities such as budget cuts or downsizing, continuous process improvement has become a key business requirement. MSA’s staff members are well versed in analyzing business processes using proven industry standard methodologies to identify areas of inefficiencies and non-value added tasks; and recommending and implementing process improvement solutions. Our team members have facilitated process improvement team (PIT) workshops to analyze specific process improvement ideas with the goal of improving inefficient processes. We facilitated twenty-nine PIT workshops of approximately 175 Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department (MDWASD) employees which resulted in over $4 million in savings for MDWASD.
SPECIFIC FINANCIAL & MANAGEMENT SERVICES
- Billing analysis – rate development
- Business and financial system analysis
- Business strategic planning
- Capital asset analysis
- Cashier and collection systems
- Connection fee studies
- Cost evaluation of utility systems
- Cost of service analysis
- Economic / Financial feasibility studies
- Efficiency studies
- Employee participation programs – process improvement strategies
- Expert testimony
- Financial, management, systems and accounting consultation
- Financial, Rate and Engineering Minimum Filing Requirements (MFRs) submitted to the Florida Public Service Commission
- Impact fee / service availability / capital expansion fee studies
- Implementation of new business segments
- Miscellaneous / ancillary charge analysis
- Multi-year capital improvement program funding plan
- New sewer program funding program
- Revenue Bond support including bond feasibility report State Revolving Fund applications
- Stormwater utility billing, including dwelling unit and impervious area verification
- Water and Sewer Systems Annual Report filings to the Florida Public Commission