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City of Rockford Water Division Enhances Long Range Financial Planning: Q & A Interview with Water Superintendent

Posted on Feb 14, 2019 3:23:14 PM

Water Superintendent, Kyle Saunders, has been partnering with Forecast5 to develop rate-setting, debt-service, and CIP calculators for better long range financial planning using 5Cast and 5Cast Plus. He was happy to share some of his experiences in a brief question and answer session.

What is your current role?
Kyle Saunders, Water Superintendent at City of Rockford (aka Chief Water Nerd).

What is your background?
I joined the City of Rockford in 2011 and have held positions of increasing responsibility in engineering, project management, and water operations. Prior to my current role, I worked as the Water Treatment Supervisor where I directed the daily operations and activities of the water production system. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Rockford College, hold an Illinois Public Water Supply Operator Certification Class B license, and recently graduated with my MBA from Rockford University.

How did you hear about Forecast5?
After our long-tenured Water Accountant retired, I tasked our Water Finance Team with finding a better, simpler solution to long-range financial planning. Anne Wilkerson (our Water Financial Analyst) discovered Forecast5 at the 2018 Annual GFOA conference in St. Louis, Missouri.

What was your first impression of Forecast5?
I LOVED the customized reporting Forecast5 offers. It makes variance analysis and fiscal decision-support a breeze!

How long have you had Forecast5?
We signed an agreement with Forecast5 in Quarter 3 of 2018 and never looked back! We are very excited for what the future has in store.

What are some of the issues Forecast5 is helping your team manage/solve?
With the needs for accelerated infrastructure reinvestment, in the forefront of the water industry, Forecast5 is helping better manage our finances and improve our long-range planning capabilities. Further, Rockford Water is working in partnership with Forecast5 to develop rate-setting, debt-service, and CIP calculators – and simplifying cash-needs analysis and maximizing capital infrastructure investment through data-driven decision support.

What solutions of the Forecast5 product suite are you using?
We are using 5Cast and 5Cast Plus.

What do you like about the products and services you are using?
The support staff at Forecast5 is FANTASTIC! Also, the database-centric nature of 5Cast and 5Cast Plus makes it a “plug and play” add-on to our financial software.

What is the next major step in your road map to success with Forecast5?
We want to fully integrate the rate-setting, debt-service, and CIP calculators into production and hit the ground running! We have a preliminary projection of nearly $600 million in cumulative water capital investment!

Do you have any tips for other water and sewer districts considering working with Forecast5?
It’s worth every penny to get on board now! With the AWWA forecasted needs  in water re-capitalization at $1 trillion over the next 20 years, Forecast5 provides water and wastewater utilities (no matter the size) the immediate, data-driven ability to lay out a plan to better fiscal management. Further, the seamless reporting and value-added calculators make communicating rate increases to stakeholders and decision-makers a breeze! BRAVO!

 

Learn how we are helping water utilities here>

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