Effectively managing any organization is a challenge, and Farr West Engineering knows that utilities are no exception. For example, drinking water suppliers have responsibilities to protect the public health, provide reliable service, and safeguard the environment, all at a reasonable cost. Adding to the difficulty are the ever changing regulations and unfunded mandates, personnel issues, and public scrutiny. Farr West has been effective in helping our clients alleviate some of these burdens by augmenting their existing staff where needed. This has proven to be a tremendous help during critical times, and eliminates the need to hire a full time staff member. Farr West also has significant experience applying for grants and loans for clients attempting to complete planning or construction projects.
One of our particular areas of expertise is utility rate analysis. Farr West's President, Brent Farr, has 15 years of experience conducting utility rate studies, including the development of connection fees. Brent has been trained by national experts to utilize sound methodologies that have been adopted by the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation. He has conducted studies all over the State of Nevada for utilities of various sizes. Brent understands the concept of full cost pricing, which is charging the appropriate charges and fees to fully meet all of the utility's technical, managerial and financial needs. Most utilities are operating on revenues below this level, which means that some functions within the utility suffer, such as capital replacement or routine operation and maintenance. The rate study itself is only part of the process, while the most difficult aspect of a rate increase is public acceptance. Brent has extensive experience with public education, presentations and hearings, and his presentations help audiences understand the need for rate increases and the rationale behind proposed rate structures.
Examples of management and financial consulting services that we provide include: