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Part Four of Seven: Water and Sewer Services
COPPELL, TX—As the City of Coppell moves into the future, City staff recognizes the need to be proactive and strategic when it comes to budget planning. Coppell is reaching a state of build-out, and the City's population is not expected to increase exponentially in the coming years. However, the City's population has continued to grow in recent years, and Coppell saw a 3% increase in the number of residents from 2014 to 2018. In order to accommodate this growth and continue to offer the high-level of service that residents expect, the City strategically invests significant funds into projects and initiatives that benefit the whole community.
Further, the City of Coppell is transitioning into a sustainment stage. As infrastructure ages, the City must take steps to proactively maintain its assets and improve upon the high standard of living in Coppell. The City has begun to place an increased priority on maintenance and redevelopment. From roadways to sidewalks to streetscapes, City crews are working continuously to maintain public assets to ensure that they continue to be viable into the future.
"Our future is wholly dependent on our ability to serve the public," said Mike Land, City Manager. "The City's dedicated municipal workforce recognizes that the 'person in the house' is our only reason for existing, and we strive to demonstrate that through our actions and behaviors. The level of service is great today, but our goal is to make it even better tomorrow. Our continued efforts to maintain and improve our overall service delivery and maintenance efforts will enhance Coppell's desirability as a community of choice for existing and potential residents, businesses and visitors."
Budget Planning Process
The City of Coppell uses a rolling five-year planning document to prioritize projects and major expenditures. This document is updated annually, and it serves as a guideline for the upcoming fiscal year budgets. Every project that the City prioritizes has a direct and measurable benefit to the community. Over the past three years, the City has used this document to plan for various projects and services that are funded through the General Fund, Water and Sewer Fund, various Special Revenue Funds and grants, when available. These projects and services include:
Water and Sewer Services
The City of Coppell maintains more than 200 miles of water lines and more than 173 miles of sanitary sewer lines. City crews do routine maintenance on these lines to ensure that all Coppell residents and businesses have access to safe, sanitary water and that all wastewater is disposed of and treated properly.
The City's proactive maintenance efforts are responsible in part for the City's excellent water services. Each year, the City's drinking water meets or exceeds all federal requirements. Further, Coppell was recently awarded the Proactive Water System Award from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. This award recognizes the City of Coppell for its creative and effective efforts to improve operations, achieve compliance with water standards and better serve customers.
This fall, City of Coppell water utility customers will start seeing their water meters replaced as part of the City's Advanced Water Meter System project, a new service enhancement initiative to install advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) throughout the community. The city-wide installation of 13,375 new meters is projected to take 14 months. Once installed, the new meter system will provide customers with more accurate water usage data that is updated multiple times throughout the day, water budget and water consumption threshold alerts, comparative data, and leak alerts and notifications from the City. Consumption data will be updated on an internet-based customer dashboard that can be accessed from a computer, tablet or smart phone.
With the Advanced Water Meter System, Coppell residents will have access to data that will give them an increased understanding of their water consumption. In turn, City staff will be better equipped to assist customers.
"If someone calls and they don't believe that they used that much water, right now the only thing we can do is go out and look at the meter to see if they have a leak or have the meter tested," said Kim Tiehen, Assistant Director of Finance for the City of Coppell. "With this technology, we're going to be able to show them what is happening with their consumption. They're going to be able to graph it, and they're going to be able to see how much water was used and when it was used.This will allow us to provide a level of customer service that was unattainable before."
Once the meters are installed and customers start accessing the data from their new meters, the information will allow them to more closely monitor their water consumption and adjust their usage accordingly. In turn, it will provide the City more accurate utility analytics and customer consumption data, better meter data management, increased customer transparency, a reduction in water loss, a reduction in labor costs, a baseline for distribution leak detection and the ability to send alerts and messages to customers. In short, customers will be given the tools and data they need to better plan and "Get to Know Your H2O."
About the City of Coppell Budget:
The City of Coppell continues to see positive economic indicators in all areas of finance, including the recently reaffirmed AAA bond rating, growth in the tax base and surging sales tax receipts primarily due to thriving distribution centers and business parks. Expenditures, revenues, and reserves have been managed efficiently and proactively for many years, resulting in appropriate fund balances and a strong financial position.
"The City of Coppell is in a great financial position," said Mayor Karen Hunt. "City staff continue to do a fantastic job managing our public monies. We are very fortunate to live, work, and play in a city that places a high value on community and quality of life while focusing on maintaining what we have built."
The City of Coppell works diligently to be fiscally responsible and transparent, and the City continuously receives accolades from outside agencies regarding its financial planning and prudent budgeting practices. The City strongly encourages residents to get involved, attend public meetings and provide feedback on the proposed budget.
For more information about the FY2018-2019 budget, contact the Finance Department at 972-304-3691 or visit coppelltx.gov/budget.