Sponsor Questions

Brittany Cline
Conference Sales Coordinator
E: bcline@benjaminmedia.com
P: 330-467-7588
F: 330-468-2289

Washington, D.C.

August 28th-29th, 2018


Registration & Continental Breakfast

Registration opens and a continental breakfast is provided

08:15 - 08:30
Opening Remarks
Session 1 — Financial Planning & Maximizing Revenue
08:30 - 09:00
What’s Your Water System Worth? Optimizing Utility Valuation — Anthony Festa, Director | Cushman & Wakefield; Fred Pfeifer, Water Network Asset Strategy Manager | Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

This presentation will introduce basic appraisal concepts, and how they can be utilized to value the water system of a company or municipality. Using the three approaches to value (cost, market and income), the audience will get a feel for how appraisals are developed, reconciled across each method, and used to make financial accounting and engineering planning decisions. With the M&A marketplace ripe for transactions (i.e. – P3), and governmental mandates for appraisals in certain instances, knowing what your system is worth can put buyers and sellers ahead of the game in the decision-making process.

Click on speaker below for full bio.
Anthony Festa
Director | Cushman & Wakefield
09:00 - 09:30
Wringing Money from Existing Water Budgets – Jason Bethke, President and Chief Growth Officer | FATHOM

This presentation will focus on the experiences of Cedar Hill, Texas, which employed advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), modernized data management and billing services to reduce the costs of billing by $394,000 per year, while increasing revenue by $426,000 annually. This net benefit of $800,000 annually coupled with cost containment guaranteed for 15 years has freed significant capital for Cedar Hill to invest in debt reduction and infrastructure.

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Jason Bethke
President & Chief Growth Officer | FATHOM
09:30 - 10:00
Managing Risk Through Reserves – Andrew McCartney, Senior Finance Manager | Fort Worth Water

Cash reserves are essential to ensure a utility’s long-term financial sustainability and resiliency. Attendees will learn how each utility system has its own unique circumstances and considerations that should be factored into the selection of the types of reserves and corresponding policies that best meet its requirements and objectives. Regardless of whether a utility has a single reserve or multiple reserves, it should consider how its total reserve levels compare against the published criteria of the rating agencies to understand the potential impacts of its policies to its credit rating. Moreover, a utility should also consider having formal adopted reserve policies that will guide and govern the actions of decision makers into the future and be well received by the investment community, versus the benefits of having informal policies that provide more flexibility from year to year.

Click on speaker below for full bio.
Andrew McCartney
Senior Finance Manager | Fort Worth Water Department
10:00 - 10:30
WIFIA Case Study: Orange County Water System — Amit Srivastava, Underwriter, WIFIA Program | U.S. EPA

The team will walkthrough a WIFIA financing case study focusing on the financing of public wastewater infrastructure. The case study will cover in detail WIFIA’s interest rate calculation, estimated fees, structural flexibilities, and overall cost savings when compared to other sources of funding.

The WIFIA Act of 2014 (WIFIA) established the WIFIA program, a federal credit program administered by EPA for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects. The WIFIA program accelerates investment in our nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects.

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Amit Srivastava
Underwriter, WIFIA Program | U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
10:30 - 10:45
Networking Break
10:45 - 12:00
Panel Discussion: Connecting the Utility with New & Established Funding Mechanisms — Panelists: Amit Srivastava, Underwriter, WIFIA Program, U.S. EPA; John Covington, Senior Financial Analyst, U.S. EPA; Eric Letsinger, Founder & CEO, Quantified Ventures; Dan Hartnett, Chief Advocacy Officer for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies
Click on speaker below for full bio.
Amit Srivastava
Underwriter, WIFIA Program | U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Eric Letsinger
Founder & CEO | Quantified Ventures
12:00 - 13:00
Session 2 — Resilience, Regionalization & Partnerships
13:00 - 13:30
Financing Sustainable Infrastructure Upgrades through Performance Contracting — S. Rao Chitikela, Consultant | RC-WEE Solutions; Chris Kaiser, Area Sales Manager | Johnson Controls; John Larson, Plant Manager | Norristown Municipal Waste Authority (Norristown, Pa.)

Many treatment plants today face tightening permit limits at a time when facilities and equipment are aging. The energy requirements and associated costs for water processing are also significant. Performance contracting integrates all elements of the project development and delivery, including a stipulated cash-flow with the arrangement of complete financing. A qualified provider (QP) is selected to develop and deliver the water infrastructure project and, provides the guarantee of engineered equipment, process, and energy efficiency of the project(s), for duration of the project(s). Performance contracting project(s) includes the triple bottom line (TBL) elements and delivers the sustainable water infrastructure upgrade, with applicable resiliency. This presentation will detail performance contracting method of development and delivery of water infrastructure asset renewal, and case studies will demonstrate the accomplishment.

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Chris Kaiser
Area Sales Manager | Johnson Controls
Dr. Rao Chitikela
Consultant - Water, Energy, & Environmental | RC-WEE Solutions
13:30 - 14:00
Budgeting & Forecasting — Kristy Neckowicz, President | InVizion LLC

The annual budget is the link between strategy and execution in any corporation, but unfortunately it often involves a sea of spreadsheets and lengthy iterations of negotiations between various stakeholders. Capital Planners and Managers are in the best position to streamline this collaborative process for the best possible outcomes, whether it means more infrastructure improvements or better cash management. In this session the presenters will showcase process improvement journeys from other Water Utilities, while sharing universal benefits and lessons learned.

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Kristy Neckowicz
President | InVizion LLC
14:00 - 14:30
New Financing Options to Address Non-Point Source Pollution — Michael Curley, Visiting Scholar | Environmental Law Institute

More than 45 years ago when the Clean Water Act (CWA) was passed, urban sewage was the No. 1 source of water pollution. The 1972 Act included the Construction Grants Program managed by the U.S. EPA, which by 1987 had funded more than $70 billion in grants to publicly-owned treatment works (POTWs). With local matching funds added, there was a total of more than $100 billion spent on upgrading POTWs. And in those days, 30-40 years ago, $100 billion was real money! Today, urban sewage is no longer the No. 1 source of water pollution. Instead, agricultural runoff and stormwater are the No. 1 source of water pollution.

Michael Curley
Visiting Scholar | Environmental Law Institute
14:30 - 15:30
Networking Roundtables
15:30 - 16:00
P3s: Bridging the Gap Between Project Planning & Contract Award — Brian Shell, Senior Technical Principal | WSP

This presentation will focus on the activities that lie between the project planning phase and contract award for public-private partnerships, with a focus on implications for water sector projects. Careful consideration and planning in the period prior to contract award can pay dividends for owners over a P3 concession period. Presentation will provide an overview of public-private partnerships and discuss the steps usually carried out by owners to arrive at this procurement option. Considerations and advantages/disadvantages for P3 contracting will be reviewed. The “value for money” analysis, which compares the P3 procurement method for a given project against a traditional design-bid-build method, and aids in the selection of an appropriate delivery method, will be reviewed. We will conclude with a review of the solicitation process commonly employed for P3 procurements. Attendees will learn about the role of holding an early industry forum, then we will review the procurement document stages. Discussion of the RFP process will include formulation of the evaluation criteria, proposal requirements, and assembly of an evaluation team.

Click on speaker below for full bio.
Brian Shell
Consultant, Alternative Delivery Advisory Services | WSP
16:00 - 16:30
The Financial Impact of Regionalization – John Covington, Senior Financial Analyst | U.S. EPA
16:30 - 17:00
Opportunities for Partnerships and Private Investment in Water – Robert F. Powelson, Chief Executive Officer | National Association of Water Companies
17:00 - 18:30
Networking Reception and Keynote Speaker Nicolette N. Bateson, CPA | Great Lakes Water Authority

Nicolette N. Bateson, CPA, CFO and treasurer of the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) will share her extensive financial and public administration experience with attendees during the networking reception.

Click on speaker below for full bio.
Nicolette N. Bateson, CPA
CFO/Treasurer of the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA)

Registration opens and a continental breakfast is provided

Session 3 — Rates & Affordability
08:00 - 08:30
Long-Term Financial Planning & Budget Forecasting — Jay Bernas, Chief Financial Officer | Hampton Roads Sanitation District
Over the past 78 years, HRSD has developed into one of the premier wastewater treatment organizations in the nation. With 16 treatment facilities capable of treating 249 million gallons of wastewater each day, HRSD has eliminated the discharge of untreated sewage into the waters of Hampton Roads from the homes and businesses within our region. HRSD is in the process of negotiating an EPA Integrated Plan (IP), which includes a $1.8 billion wet weather Consent Decree and the $1 billion Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT). SWIFT will treat our water to meet drinking water standards and pump it into the ground to provide a sustainable source of groundwater, slow the rate of land subsidence due to over withdrawal of the groundwater, block salt water intrusion with a pressurized fresh water barrier and practically eliminate HRSD discharges to the York, James and Elizabeth Rivers. To ensure HRSD is financially sustainable with the significant capital expenditures planned, we use PFM’s customized FuturePerfect financial model to forecast forty years into the future. This presentation will provide details on how the model works, key assumptions, sensitivity analyses and examples of how we use this model to strategically improve our financial position, which led to a ratings upgrade in March 2018.
Click on speaker below for full bio.
Jay Bernas
CFO/Director of Finance | Hampton Roads Sanitation District
08:30 - 09:00
How to Communicate Rates to the Public — Joseph Beach, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer | Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

As Finance and Water Utility professionals sometimes we do not appreciate that our customers do not live in the world of rate structures, consent decrees, and income quintiles. This presentation will discuss the lessons learned by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission in engaging its customers on a revision to its volumetric water and sewer rate structure and the strategies that worked and those that did not work.

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Joseph F. Beach
CFO/Treasurer | Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)
09:00 - 09:30
Need Capital? Consider A Water System Replacement Fee — Bart Kreps, Vice President | Raftelis

In the past several years, DC Water initiated broad and sweeping changes to its core rate structure. A component of these changes included implementation of a Water System Replacement Fee (WSRF), targeted specifically at recovering costs associated with the renewal and replacement of aging infrastructure in its retail service area. The fee was designed such that it would provide a level of annual funding sufficient to recover 1 percent of DC Water’s capital replacement program expenditures. This presentation will discuss the process used to develop the WSRF including consideration of fee structure, assessment methodology, affordability, and various other factors.

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Bart Kreps
Vice President, Raftelis
09:30 - 10:00
State-Level Legal & Financial Barriers to Establishing CAPs — Jeff Hughes, Director, Environmental Finance Center | University of North Carolina School of Government

Presentation of the results of a 50 state study on the diverse legal barriers to establishing customer assistance programs and the strategies for overcoming them.

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Jeff Hughes
Director, Environmental Finance Center | University of North Carolina School of Government
10:00 - 10:30
Networking Break
10:30 - 11:45
Panel Discussion: Defining Affordability: Is Water A Right? — Moderator: Greg Baird, President, Water Finance Research Foundation; Panelists: Matthew Brown, CFO, DC Water; Adam Krantz, CEO, National Association of Clean Water Agencies; Andrew Burnham, VP, Financial Services, Stantec; Tony Hyde, Fmr. Mayor and County Commissioner (Ore.)

Affordability challenges and budget pitfalls facing local municipalities as they seek to update their aging infrastructure will be discussed. It is vital that local governments are able to anticipate infrastructure needs before they are required and not have unnecessary mandates placed around material selection. Tony Hyde will talk about the challenges he faced and share his lessons learned about local government funding pitfalls.

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Andrew Burnham
Vice President, Financial Services | Stantec
Tony Hyde
Former Columbia County Commissioner, Oregon | Local Government Advocate
11:45 - 13:00
Session 4 — Looking Ahead: The Future of Water Project Finance
13:00 - 13:30
Advance Refunding of Municipal Bonds — Emily S. Brock, Director and Federal Liaison | Government Finance Officers Association

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the use of tax-exempt advanced refundings by municipal entities. Advanced Refundings was a tool that was effectively used to save substantial sums of money (at least 20% of the market in 2017) to free up capital for infrastructure. Why was it eliminated? How is the market reacting? Do we have any chance in bringing them back? In this interactive session, we will use data to talk about the impacts and next steps to reviving this very important tool to finance infrastructure.

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Emily S. Brock
Director and Federal Liaison | Government Finance Officers Association
13:30 - 14:00
How Is Municipal Water/Wastewater Utility Financing Changing? — Ted Chapman, Senior Director, U.S. Public Finance Infrastructure Group | Standard & Poor’s

In this presentation, Ted Chapman, who serves as the primary author of S&P Global Rating’s municipal utility revenue bond criteria, will offer his take on the future of the U.S. water infrastructure market from a ratings perspective. Chapman serves as the subject matter expert and voice of S&P on water and sewer utilities, including on topics such as affordability, financial management and green bonds. He has also been the lead credit analyst for U.S. territories and commonwealths, governmental-related entities, state, local and regional governments across the United States.

Ted Chapman
Senior Director, U.S. Public Infrastructure Group | Standard & Poor's
14:00 - 15:00
Panel Discussion: The Outlook for Water Infrastructure Due Diligence – Moderator: Greg Baird, President, Water Finance Research Foundation; Panelists: Doug Hatler, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Fracta; Jeff Hughes, Director, Environmental Finance Center, University of North Carolina School of Government; Fred Pfeifer, Water Network Asset Strategy Manager, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
Doug Hatler
VP of Sales and Marketing | Fracta
15:00 - 15:15
Closing Remarks
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