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CMR for Monterey

VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 17

									                                      FOREWORD

       This report is the result of a request by the Town of Monterey for the University of
Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) to conduct a comprehensive
management study of the Town of Monterey. MTAS extends its appreciation to the
Mayor, aldermembers and staff for their cooperation and assistance with this study and the
preparation of this report.

      The MTAS staff assigned to this project are as follows: Mr. Rex Barton, Mr. Ray
Crouch, Ms. Anne Gilbert, Ms. Carole Graves, Ms. Armintha Loveday, Mr. Alan Majors,
Mr. Warren Nevad, Mr. Richard Stokes, Mr. Mike Tallent and Mr. Brett Ward.
                                      INTRODUCTION

       The University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS)
embarked on this service in the fall of 1991. The development of a Comprehensive
Management Review (CMR) program is being conducted in cooperation with
municipalities within the population range of 2,500 to 10,000. The Town of Monterey
requested this service during the summer of 1999.

        The Comprehensive Management Review uses input from MTAS staff members
and staff interviews to develop a review of the town’s operations. The CMR will (1) offer a
critique of positive and negative aspects of each service provided by the town, (2) offer
recommendations to correct the negative aspects, (3) generate data that may be used in
future efforts, (4) assist in the development of a priority system to implement the findings of
this study, and (5) assist in the implementation of some projects.

        Finally, the CMR affords the opportunity to set an action plan with MTAS and
other technical assistance projects.

                            COMPONENTS OF THE STUDY

         The CMR process includes a review of all municipal functional areas. Information
was obtained from various sources. The data gathering process consists of three major
activitires: (1) interviews with elected officals and staff, (2) field inspections, (3) review of
documents and other pertinent data. Another CMR component is the peer review and
interaction provided by MTAS staff members throughout the process.

       MTAS conducted interviews with the department heads and management staff of
the town of Monterey. The interviews were used to determine the major strengths and
weaknesses within each department from the interviewee’s point of view.

        The second gathering process included on-site visits. During the on-site visits the
consultants reviewed the operations, equipment and programs used in the service delivery
of each department. In some cases follow-up visits were required to obtain additional
information.

       The third data gathering process included a review of documents including the
town’s Municipal Code, City Charter and other pertinent data.
                                      THE REPORT

        The report is designed to be used as an assessment of conditions in effect at the
time and a guide for the Town of Monterey in its continuing effort to improve service
delivery to the citizens. The report acknowledges many of the strengths of the Town,
however, the primary purpose of the report is to focus on areas for improvement.

        It is important to note that recommendations are based upon conditions that
existed when the field work was conducted.

       Each chapter includes an explanation of current operations and recommendations.
 The chapters are as follows: (1) Administration; (2) Finance Administration;
(3) Communication; (4) Personnel; (5) Streets and Sanitation; (6) Police; (7) Fire; and (8)
Water and Sewer. An Appendix and an Executive Summary are also included.
                                       Comprehensive Management Review

Introduction:

Monterey is a small city of 2600 people located conveniently in the plateau area. Monterey
is within 100 miles of three (3) of the Abig four@ (4) cities in Tennessee. The city is
approximately 90 miles east of Nashville, 90 miles west of Knoxville and 90 miles north of
Chattanooga. Monterey has a very active industrial base anchored by international
companies such as Fast Food Merchandisers (the largest employer in Putnam County) and
Adams USA, a sports equipment producer. Monterey has a rich and colorful history. A
few testimonies to this railroad town’s heyday in the 1920s and >30s include the Imperial
Hotel, the Standing Stone and an old train station. The town’s Indian heritage is also
revived annually in one of its major celebrations, the Standing Stone Festival. City Services
include administration, code enforcement, water, sewer, police and the volunteer fire
department.

The town council has requested to the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical
Advisory Service a comprehensive management review. This review will consist of onsite
visits by MTAS’S consultants. Each of the departments were examined. The methodology
for the review included an interview with the mayor and 4 of the 8 aldermembers.

The town council consists of a Mayor and eight (8) aldermembers. Elections for the nine
(9) board members are held every two (2) years. The town’s ordinance allows for the
Mayor to set, appoint and change committee boards. These boards include police, fire,
personnel, sanitation and streets. According to all aldermembers interviewed, some
committees are efficient while others lack effectiveness because these committees do not
meet on a regular basis. Subsequently, the city’s operating departments are not receiving
equal attention from their respective committees. The low rankings of certain
departmentss could be correlated by the frequency of committee meetings.

The Mayor and board serve dual roles by participating in the committees and serving as the
Agoverning body@. This can often create overlapping roles and duplication of services.
The potential for trade offs among aldermembers with committee members who are also
aldermembers could create conflicts and a political style of city management. To illustrate,
usually a committee which consists of 3 aldermembers will receive job applications, make
hiring recommendations to the Mayor, who in turn will seek hiring approval from the
board. There are no set guidelines for committees to address meeting procedures, hiring
criteria and disciplinary procedures. Until recently, the Mayor had authority to fire,
however, this is now the responsibility of the board.

Based upon the interviews, the Mayor/Aldermembers do agree on several key issues:

   1. Reducing the number of elected officals and implementing 4 year staggered terms.
      The general consensus appears to be four (4) councilmembers and a Mayor. The
      officals explained that the city of Cookeville was ten times the size of Monterrey
      and operated well with 5 elected officals;
   2. Eliminating the frequent changes in the composition of the committee
      membership.During the past 18 months, committee member rosters were changed
      nine times. This effect has weaken stability of the committees, according to several
      aldermembers interviewed;

   3. Enhancing infrastructure. All elected officals interviewed agrred that the city needs
      to rehabilitate water and sewer lines; and

   4. Reducing conflict among elected officals.

The board is split upon the issue of hiring a city administrator. According to one (1)
alderperson, supervision of employees is dependent upon whether certain officals get along
with another. The Mayor gives day to day direction to the supervisors, issues relating to
planning and budgeting fall under the purview of the committees. Again, similar to the
hiring process, the supervision model results in conflicting roles by the Mayor and the
board. For example, the police chief may report to the committee which reports to the
Mayor. On the other hand, the street supervisor reports directly to the Mayor.

The town has proactively recently iniated new changes in personnel. The Board has been
given authority to hire and fire employees. The Mayor gives day to day direction.


                                EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Administration

         Several of the recommendations contained in this report are addressing symptoms
of a larger problem. That problem is a very difficult and overlapping organizational
structure that limits and in fact hinders good day-to-day management practices. In some
cases, the Mayor is reponsible for day to day affairs. Often, the committees which consist
of aldermembers gets involved in the Aplanning@ of their respective departments.
Sometimes, the department heads are unsure of where to get guidance and direction. To
correct this problem, the town needs to completely rewrite its charter and in the process
restructure its organization. This would best be accomplished through an appointed
charter committee comprised of key citizens within the community. While the committee
is addressing modernization of the charter, they should explore the feasibility of creating a
town administrator position and/or giving the mayor unconditional authority to manage the
town’s day to day operations. The most prudent way to accomplish this is to revise the
Charter.
CHARTER ISSUES

Board Composition.

        The town’s governing board consists of one Mayor and eight (8) aldermen to be
chosen every two (2) years. MTAS believes that this structure is antiquated and tumultuous
because the entire board can be replaced every 2 years and/or this is a higher probability
for conflict. The Mayor and all the aldermembers interviewed, agreed that the town would
best function with 1 Mayor and four (4) aldermen. This is the same structure for the City
of Cokkeville which is nearly ten times the population size of Monterey. The town would
be better equip to have an election every 2 years for the board or have staggered terms
which would be explored.

Aldermen and Mayor Qualifications And Responsibilities.

        This appears to be in order. However, we recommend that the duties of City
Recorder be removed from the Mayor’s qualification. Should the town hire a future
administrator, this could cause potential conflict. Further, with the recent turnover of the
office of Mayor, there could be a risk of not having an adequately trained city recorder who
is responsible for all record keeping in the town.

        Also included in this section for recommended future review is the following direct
quote: AIt shall be the duty of the Mayor to see that all ordinances and laws of the town are
duly observed, obeyed and impartially enforced, and he shall, on application, instruct
officers in their duties@. This clearly states that the Mayor is responsible for day to day
operation of code enforcement and police protection. Should the town hire an
administrator, this position would report to the Mayor on a day to day basis. Our
suggestion is to either follow the charter or amend it.

         This section further states that AThe board of aldermen shall have full power and
authority to elect and appoint all officers, servants and agents of the corporation within the
restrictions of this act and fix the pay and compensation of the same; and they shall have
power for sufficent cause to dismiss and discharge any officer, servant or agent that may
have been appointed by a majority vote of the aldermen and mayor@. This would also
have to be examined should the town hire a city administrator. A city administrator
without hiring and firing authority may erode the effectiveness of the organization. For
now, the town follows this personnel system. This section contained in this paragraph
sometimes conflict with the day to day role of the mayor mentioned in the above
paragraph.

A quorum with four aldermen and the Mayor would be two aldermen and the Mayor.
Finally, the section pertaining to ward composition would have to be revised.

        The charter also places a limitation of 60 cents on the $100 property valuation.
This may have to be adjusted should the town desire to create the town administrator’s
position.
FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION


Background

         All of the financial administrative services are provided by four full-time people, not
counting a city recorder. Services include budget preparation, property tax billing, utility
billing, invoice payment, invoice filling, investments, revenue collections, payroll and
payroll reports, city court collection/reporting, building permits ,financial reporting.
Additionally, they provides telephone and receptionist service for all city business and
departments. Two of the employees work for the Water and Sewer Fund while the other
two are budgeted in the General Fund.

         The position of city recorder has been assumed by the two previous Mayors.
However, the city recorder is generally responsible for many technical financial
administrative duties and management responsibilities. Those duties are best
accomplished by trained personnel and is normally a full-time position. Also, this top
financial position can provide leadership and continuity between administrations when
filled with a non-elected person.

        Currently, the city recorder position is vacant. This is an important decision
making position that needs to be filled. These functions cannot be absorbed by the other
four staff as they have full-time assignments already. What is missing is the total financial
management overview that the city recorder is usually associated with. That person would
be responsible for analyzing monthly financial reports; checking control totals on all assets
and liabilities; cash flow projections; budget preparation; and reporting to elected officials.

        Staff are competent and capable. Moreover, there is a high degree of cooperation
along with a positive office environment. They are knowledgeable about their jobs and
plan to cross-train more which will boost their effectiveness. Also, all staff need to avail
themselves of appropriate professional training.

Utilities, Accounting, and Payroll

       The Town maintains its utilities, accounting, and payroll with good current
hardware and excellent software. Local Government Data Processing (LGDP) provides
software support. The system will not experience any problems associated with the year
2000. This office is taking advantage of computer technology and will upgrade some
hardware.

       Accounting, payroll, and utility billing records are maintained in a current and
accurate manner. Financial reports are prepared monthly as it is part of the computer
generated month-end reports. There has been a documented problem with travel but that
problem was not the fault of staff, and has been corrected with a travel policy.
        Internal control is generally a problem with any town that has few employees.
However, with four employees, the duties may be adequately segregated to maintain a
strong internal control system.

        The FY 1998 audit opinion has several exceptions regarding higher level accounting
issues. These continuing problems point out the need for an accountant or city recorder.
There are accounting functions, apart from daily business transactions, that are not being
accomplished that lead to those audit exceptions.

Direct Deposit of State Shared Revenues

        The State offers cities the option for a direct deposit to the Town’s bank or Local
Government Investment Pool (LGIP) account of their state shared revenues. This is called
the STEADY program. There is nothing wrong with the current mailed check system but
this program will increase cash flow by a few days.

Computers

       The Town is in good shape regarding its computers and software. Computer files
are backed up daily, monthly, and annually. LGDP does a good job of recommending
backup files. However, backup files need to stored off-site for additional security. This
could be done weekly at a bank or school or other secure location where a catastrophe
would not destroy both the in-office computer files and the off-site backup files.

Debt

        The Town general fund has about $650,000 in debt principal which will be paid off
in FY 2009. The corresponding interest is about $371,000. The water and sewer fund
debt is about $2,900,000 with corresponding interest of $2,400,000. The debt is low for
both funds and is financially easy to manage.

Fixed Asset Records

        The Town does not have an acceptable Fixed Asset Record system. This was one
of the auditors exceptions to their opinion. Development and maintenance of Fixed Assets
is an accounting function not associated with daily receipting and check writing. Still, once
the system is set up, any of the existing office personnel could maintain it.

       Development of a Fixed Asset Record system is time consuming. Many towns
contract this job to their auditors or other professional.

Investments

         The Town has several bank accounts and uses local banks and the LGIP to wisely
invest its idle cash. Deposits are collateralized as required by Tennessee law.
Local Option Sales Tax

         The local sales tax is 2.25% in Monterey and Putnam County. The local sales tax
limit is 2.75% so there potentially is significant additional revenue from this source. Of
course any sales tax increase would require a public referendum. If that passes then the
County could vote to pre-empt that with a County-wide tax.

        Another possible way to increase this revenue is thru a situs verification. When a
business applies for a sales tax number, they complete a form wherein they indicate where
the business is located. The State does not follow-up on this and mistakes do occur.

         The State will provide a list of all businesses in Monterey paying sales tax. An
employee could take this list and simply match it to all businesses in the Town. Any
business in the Town that is not on the list should be turned in to the State Department of
Revenue.

Property Taxes

        This is currently the largest single source of general fund revenues. The Town of
Monterey has low property tax rate of $1.28 per hundred dollar of assessed value. This is
possible underutilized and would be a good source of future revenues.

        The property tax roll furnished to the Town needs to be checked with current
Town maps to determine if all properties actually in the Town are on the Town’s tax roll.
This is similar to the situs report used to verify sales tax payers.

        There is a fairly large amount of delinquent property taxes. The FY 98 audit
indicates that only 67% of the tax levy. This problem apparently relates to a single industry
disputing the property tax. Uncollected delinquent property taxes are filed in Chancery
court in a timely manner with sales of tax delinquent properties coordinated with Putnam
County.

Receipting

         Pre-numbered receipts are issued for all transactions except utility payments. The
utility bill is the customers receipt. All revenues are recorded on a daily cash report. All
money is deposited intact within three banking days of receipt.


          RECOMMENDATIONS ON FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION


1. Hire a full-time city recorder. It would be advantageous to hire someone with local
   government experience-specifically Monterey. There is at least one current staff
   member capable of handling this position. She could train her replacement while
   picking up new responsibilities easing the transition period.
2. Employee job description should be written and evaluated regularly. Their duties and
   responsibilities should be specific enough to provide adequate internal control over all
   financial transactions.

3. Continue cross-training office personnel. A goal would be to have at least two people
   know every task of every job. This would increase the interaction of office staff and
   minimize office disruptions due to any single employee’s absence because of vacation,
   illness, lunch, or other reason.

4. Back-up computer tapes should be stored off-site at least on a weekly basis. Then, if
   there were catastrophic loss of town hall, the financial records would not be lost.

5. The Town should develop and maintain a fixed asset accounting system. This system
   would track all of the Town’s assets and have records that indicate the location, price,
   acquisition date, and other pertinent data required.

6. Situs reports should be ordered from the State Department of Revenue. Then
   someone from the Town, knowledgeable about the Town’s limits, should cross
   reference every business on the situs report with every business in Town. Advise the
   State as to corrections.

COMMUNICATIONS

Background

The city of Monterey uses only a few methods for communicating with it’s citizens and
employees. The city mostly relies on the local media to attend and report on monthly
council meetings. Very little else is done to keep citizens informed about key city issues or
concerns. However, the mayor does maintain an open door policy to his constituents and
employees, and makes an effort to be available to interested parties. Residents can also
address the entire council during the public forum section of each council meeting. And on
occasion, the city has used utility bills, placed advertisements, and distributed flyers to
communicate with its citizens.

Through the review process, three areas of communications were identified that needed
improvement: citizen communications, employee communications, and board relations.
Improved communications with the media was not mention. However, based on past
media clips, media relations is another area that needs to be addressed.

Generally, there are no “quick fixes” for public relations and communications problems.
Instead, it is something that must be worked on continuously. An action plan, and
increased and improved communications are good places to start.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Must Do

1. Schedule a workshop for improving interpersonal skills for current board members.
   Poor board relations and how it is projected through the media is a major concern.
   The workshop should also help define roles of the mayor, board, and staff.

2. Work to distribute proactive press releases to pitch positive news stories and good
   human interest type stories. Citizens, as well as employees, need to be inundated with
   positive stories about the city to help overcome any negatives feelings.

3. Meet with news directors. If there is a specific issue that is particularly complex or
   controversial, schedule a meeting with the news director to go over the issues in more
   detail. A proactive approach with the media is always the best approach. It shows your
   willingness to work with the media and that you have nothing to hide.

4. Develop a Crisis Communications Plan that identifies media spokespeople, contact
   phone numbers, and what type of information can be released. After the plan is
   developed, review the plan with city employees, board members, and members of the
   media.

5. Provide formal training in crisis communications for the administrative staff and board
   members.

6. Provide local members of the media with the same board packet distributed to each
   board member prior to the meeting. After distribution of the packet, city officials
   should be available to the media before and after the meeting to answer any questions
   regarding agenda items or board action.

Should Do

7. Develop and distribute a citywide newsletter. Although the media is also a means for
   getting your message to the public, there is a concern that the press doesn’t always paint
   local government in a positive light. A citizen newsletter is an opportunity to tell your
   side of the story. The newsletter should include information about upcoming events,
   progress reports of current construction projects, board proceedings, a calendar of
   events, comments from the Mayor, safety tips, and a feature story profiling a city
   employee.

8. Schedule a couple of formal town meetings with specific meeting agendas. During the
   budget process is a good time to hold a town meeting to solicit citizen input, or after the
   budget is finalized to review it with your citizens. Other suggested times might be to
   announce any major construction projects, end-of-the-year reporting, results of a
   specific study or audit, etc.
9. Develop a complaint filing and tracking system to provide a better method of recording
   citizen's concerns and what type of action, if any, was taken to address them. Several
   computer software packages are available to manage and track citizen complaints and
   work orders.

10. Provide employees with a summary of council action the morning after each council
    meeting to help keep employees up-to-date on city happenings. Every city employee
    serves as an ambassador of the city and should have a clear understanding of what
    issues are at hand. It would also help in the effort of team building by making
    employees feel a part of the action. The summary could be distributed in employee
    mailboxes and posted on bulletin boards the morning after board meetings. Don’t wait
    until the next employee newsletter to inform employees of information that they should
    know now.

Would be Nice to Do

11. Survey citizens, employees, and board members to determine what type of information
    they would like to receive concerning city operations. Once key issues have been
    identified, it is easier to determine the best approach for communicating with them. Just
    by simply asking for their input is a positive step toward good relations.

12. Aside from the standard holiday sponsored events, such as Christmas Parades and
    Fourth of July celebrations, there are numerous events that would maximize exposure
    for the city for very little money. (Arbor Day, student government programs, open
    houses, etc.)

13. When new residents sign up for water service, distribute newcomers packets that
    include pertinent information about the city. The packets can be coordinated with the
    Chamber of Commerce. In fact, they may already do this. If so, make city materials
    available to them for distribution, such as a welcome letter from the mayor, a city
    phone directory, information about the city council and meeting times, a calendar of
    events, scheduled garbage pick up, city recycling programs, etc.

14. Some of Tennessee’s smaller, but progressive, cities have begun to rely on a core of
    volunteers to help coordinate various city events. Farragut, Brentwood, and
    Germantown have very successful volunteer programs that help coordinate recycling,
    city beautification, and neighborhood cleanup efforts. In addition, Germantown has
    some 20 city committees that consist of citizens volunteering their time to serve on a
    board and provide citizen feedback. Citizen committees and commissions provide an
    opportunity for the city government to work directly with volunteer citizens in specific
    areas of interest. Members provide input to government affairs and act as ambassadors
    to other citizens. Feedback and citizen involvement helps ensure that the city is working
    in a direction the community’s needs and expects.

15. A city’s safety department can be a very effective and visible means for establishing
    contact with its residents. Cities throughout Tennessee use their fire and police
    departments as an extension of the city’s outreach program. Some examples include:
          blood pressure screenings set up in public shopping malls conducted by city
           EMTs,
          fire safety presentations at the schools,
          DARE programs and DUI presentations at area high schools,
          a citizen police academy, and
          police “trading cards” targeted to elementary school children.

16. Schedule quarterly or biannually brown bag lunches for employees. Employees bring
    their own lunch to a city park or some other city venue, and key staff people present
    information about upcoming projects or events. The lunches could also be planned for
    two different days in order to accommodate everyone’s schedule and to make sure
    there are staff people still manning city hall. Invite the board as well to help with the
    team-building philosophy and to break down any stigmas that the board is “off-limits”
    to employees.

17. Consider scheduling a workshop in customer relations and courtesy training for city
    employees. Its not always easy working with the public and is easy to become defensive
    when dealing with angry citizens, which can make the situation worse. Workshops in
    customer relations can help city employees identify citizens needs and concerns, better
    handle angry and demanding citizens, and present an image that exudes courtesy, trust,
    and respect for the public.

                          Monterey Water and Wastewater

         The goal of this utility report is to highlight areas where the operations of the
Monterey water and wastewater system can be optimized. The major areas of emphasis
will be: system management, loss and waste reduction, asset management, and personnel
management.

        The Monterey water and wastewater system is typical of Tennessee cities of similar
size and location. The age and condition of the physical assets range from new and
excellent to old and failing. The employees appear dedicated and capable and indicate that
the elected officials support them, in most areas. Like many other cities, Monterey has a
very high percentage of unaccounted for water. The sewer system is experiencing many
overflows within the collection system and high storm water flows through the treatment
plant. Taken together these two areas of loss and waste could be costing the city as much
as $200,000 per year. The utility employees respond to problems throughout the system,
but do not have the time nor equipment to perform system-wide preventative maintenance.
Though the system generally runs well, optimizing the operations should result in better
customer service and improved long term economy.

Water and Wastewater Committee

       The Water and Wastewater Committee should establish a set of long term goals for
the department. This will serve as a guide for it’s decision making as well as giving the
committee and employees an objective to work toward and a standard to be held
accountable to. Long term goals will inform the citizens that you are serious about
providing quality utility services.

        Recommended Goals:

               Exceed regulatory requirement in order to provide the citizens of Monterey
                top quality drinking water and protect the public health through top quality
                wastewater treatment.

               Maintain the physical assets in a condition that assures dependable service.

               Maintain personnel who are capable of operating and maintaining the
                system to meet these goals.

               Manage the system to provide for the long term economy and efficiency of
                the system while providing quality utility service.

               Plan for the future needs of the citizens and customers in order to provide
                quality service as changes occur in the demand for service.

Utility Administration

        A major opportunity for improvement for Monterey is the establishment of a full-
time Utility Manager. This person would be responsible for overseeing the system, for
directing the details of the utility finances and the things that affect the finances. Because of
the long-term importance of utility operations, this position should be nonpolitical and
protected from the whims of officials as they change from election to election.

        The major task of this manager would be to achieve the goals of the committee.
They should have personnel authority because of the increasing technical nature of utility
operations. It would be their responsibility to direct the utility personnel in a way that will
meet the specified goals, assure that the workers are trained, and are held accountable for
doing their job. This person would be responsible to the Committee for maintaining the
physical condition of the system and for advising them on capital projects and for managing
the construction of new facilities or lines.

        Part of their work would involve reducing loss and waste in the system. They
should determine the actual cause of the large unaccounted-for-water percent and work
toward reducing that loss. They should make a plan for reducing the effects of storm water
inflow and infiltration. This position should be given the authority to enforce the city’s
sewer use ordinances.

       For this position to be effective, it must have proper funding and be free of micro
management from the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. The Board through the Water and
Wastewater Committee would set the policy for the position, provide the funding, and hold
the manager accountable but not micro manage the way he does his job.
Unaccounted-for-water

        During fiscal year 1999 Monterey had an unaccounted-for-water percent of 41%.
Another way to say this is to state that 41% of the water produced was never paid for. At
this point, the water is not lost but simply not counted. The water plant produced 421
million gallons during the year, but only 249 million gallons were billed. The balance of
172 million includes water that was used at city facilities, water that was used during fire
fighting or hydrant flushing, water that actually leaked from the system and water that was
used but not recorded because of old or inaccurate meters. There are several things that
can be done to reduce this percentage and then determine the actual amount of water loss
or leaks.

       Recommendations:

              Add an additional meter reading route that would include only the city
               owned facilities that use water, but are not billed. These would include the
               water and sewer plants, city hall, the garage, fire hall, parks, and any other
               public facility that uses water, but is not billed. This allows you to account
               for this water usage.

              Begin recording the estimated volume of water used by the fire department
               in fire fighting and the volume used in hydrant flushing. These figures also
               assist the manager in determining the actual water loss by accounting for
               more water usage.

              Develop and implement a water meter testing and change-out policy to
               assure that the meter readings are correct. Generally, large meters two
               inches and bigger are checked annually. Residential meters are often
               changed on a ten to fifteen year rotation depending upon the system.
               However it is done, the policy should assure management that meters
               remain acceptably accurate. All meters should be read and billed.
               Frequently hard to find or read meters are forgotten over time; in other
               instances they are not read as favors to customers. In either case, the
               system loses revenue and other customers must subsidize those who are
               receiving free water. These practices, if common, make balancing the
               budget difficult and unfairly burden the other rate payers.

              The remaining unaccounted-for-water would be considered lost water. This
               volume would include the water that leaks from the distribution system
               pipes. The industry standard for acceptable water loss percent is ten, but
               increasingly systems are demonstrating that they can achieve lower loss
               percentages than even this. Once Monterey’s actual water loss is
               determined, plans for reducing that loss should be implemented. This may
               include leak detection and line replacement. Some cities find that
               replacement of old and failing lines a little each year can be quite effective.
Inflow and Infiltration

         Monterey has a significant problem with inflow and infiltration (I/I). Inflow is
defined as storm water that flows into the system from roof gutters, storm drains, open
clean-out plugs or damaged service lines, and other relatively large openings in the pipes.
Infiltration is ground water that enters the system through loose joints in pipes, cracked
manholes, and other relatively small openings in the system. Rough calculations indicate
that about 30% of the flow through the sewer plant is storm water. This figure is less than
the total storm water entering the system because many gallons overflow from manholes
and lift stations and are never counted by the flow meter. These raw sewage overflows pose
a public health hazard to the citizens of Monterey. This also places the city at financial risk
and at risk of regulatory action. The upcoming sewer rehab project will correct some of
the I/I. It is important for the city to understand that this project will not totally solve the
I/I problem. There will be significant amounts of I/I even after the project is completed.
Most cities that are successful in reducing I/I do so with an ongoing maintenance program
in conjunction with well-managed renovation projects. These are both expensive
undertakings and should be managed wisely.

        Inflow and infiltration not only cost the city by increasing the treatment expense,
but also rob the treatment of capacity. Every gallon of storm water that enters the system
displaces a gallon of water from a paying customer. The city can actually regain plant
capacity by reducing I/I.

        Recommendations:

               The city should investigate the possibility and cost effectiveness of adding an
                additional sewer crew dedicated to I/I location and repairs. There is
                actually a great deal of productive work that city crews can perform in
                collection system maintenance. Simple physical inspection of the manholes
                in dry weather and then in wet weather can be quite revealing. Smoke
                testing in dry weather can show many sources of inflow. As problems are
                found using these low cost methods, the city may want to invest in a sewer
                camera system. Whichever type investigation work is performed, action
                must be taken to repair the problems that are found, and the Board must
                provide the funds to make these repairs.

               The Monterey sewer use ordinance seems to lack a clear prohibition to the
                introduction of storm water into the sewer collection system. Prohibiting an
                then enforcing that prohibition is and effective way to reduce storm water
                inflow into the system. Chapters 2&3 of Title 18 of the Monterey Code
                should include a prohibition of connections from roof gutters, sump
                pumps, surface drains, storm sewers and other sources of storm water that
                may enter the sanitary sewer.
Wastewater Plant

        Monterey’s wastewater plant is showing signs of being understaffed. A plant of this
size and complexity should have at least two full-time persons. There are some
maintenance issues that are being delayed, and sludge hauling has been a problem in the
past. The plant is generally performing well. Violations of the discharge permit are
generally related to high flows from storm water inflow and infiltration. Some violations are
due to the plant design. Complete ammonia removal can be problematic for trickling filter
plants especially in colder weather. Closer operation attention by a well-qualified person
should result in improved plant performance even as loadings increases.

        Recommendations:

               Hire a full-time plant operator in addition to the present lab analyst. This
                operator should be responsible for operating the plant, maintaining the
                equipment, hauling sludge, and caring for the facilities.

Summary

         Monterey’s water and wastewater system is typical of many cities in Tennessee.
The most challenging problems are the underground ones. This is very understandable,
because maintaining and repairing these facilities is difficult and expensive. Nevertheless,
the loss and waste associated with I/I and water losses appear to be significant. Action
needs to be taken to correct each of these situations, especially the easy to perform actions.
Making a complete accounting of the water produced is a relatively easy action and will give
the city correct information to base further decisions upon. If there is a significant water
loss from leaks, then the leaks need to be fixed.

        I/I is a problem for all sewer systems. Ongoing sewer maintenance to locate and
repair these problems is simply a cost of doing business. It’s not cheap, it’s not glamorous
but it will increase the longevity of your system, reduce your potential liability, and keep the
regulators at bay.

       The bottom line of this report is that Monterey needs additional personnel in the
water and wastewater system, a dedication to long term care for the system, and to
providing quality water and wastewater service.

								
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