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FY 2017-18 Council Goal: Infrastructure
Well-maintained city streets, roads, parks, and recreation centers help protect property values and maintain Roseville’s quality of life. It is fiscally responsible to maintain our streets and roads, so they don’t deteriorate and become more costly to repair in the future. In addition to roads and facilities, the focus on infrastructure also includes utilities infrastructure, workforce infrastructure, and technology infrastructure.
Facility and Equipment Infrastructure
After several years of deferring maintenance on City-owned buildings and recreation facilities, the needs are becoming more critical and will be a priority when new expenses are considered. The City’s CIP Rehab Fund that funds these types of expenses should be funded annually at $3.5 million to meet the demand, but the City can only afford to fund it at $1.1 million a year. The City is evaluating strategies to increase revenues to fund this shortfall, and future budgets will need to be mindful of this obligation.
The Information Technology (IT) Department’s FY2017-18 Strategic Work Plan aligns business technology investments and efforts with the needs of the City and its customers. With many of the City’s systems reaching end-of-life, continued upgrades will be required to support current business functions as well as the demand to modernize key business functions. The following major technology projects will be important focus points this next fiscal year.
Examples of citywide business system projects:
- Public safety handheld radio replacement
- Installation of east site radio tower for handheld radio operability
- Financial and human resources information system replacement
Examples of departmental business system projects:
- Utilities advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)
- Public Safety 9-1-1 emergency dispatch software
- Transit passenger information intelligence system
To support these projects and future needs, the IT Department is refining the Strategic Technology Replacement Plan for a long-term, proactive approach to upgrade and replace key infrastructure technologies throughout the City. The City’s CIP Rehab Fund that funds existing technology needs in the City should be funded annually at $2.1 million to meet the demand, but the City can only afford to fund it at $498,000 a year. If adequately funded and implemented, this 10-year strategic replacement plan and the corresponding replacement fund will allow the IT Department to ensure the continued reliable operation of City and community infrastructure.
With 13.1 million threat attempts last year, cybersecurity is a high priority. The City collects, processes, and stores a great deal of confidential information on computers and transmits that data securely across private and public (cloud) networks. These networks continue to experience an increase in both volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks. In addition, of the 50.8 million emails the City receives a year, only 5.2 million (9 percent) are valid – the rest contain malware or are spam or junk mail.
In summary, the CIP Rehab total requirement for funding equipment, facilities, and technology is $5.6 million on an annual basis, but the City can only afford $1.6 million for FY2017-18.
Aging infrastructure is a chronic issue plaguing the United States and most of the developed world. The funding to pay for replacing the infrastructure our country and economy depend upon simply is not there at a national or statewide level. Roseville’s utility infrastructure—power plants, treatment plants, power lines, pipelines, pump stations, substations and the like—are valued well into the multi-billions of dollars.
While new growth pays for additional utility capacity and service extensions, the ongoing cost of proactive infrastructure maintenance, renewal, and replacement factors heavily into our bi-annual utility-rate analyses. The City sets high standards and invests in high-quality materials then uses asset-management practices to ensure our infrastructure is efficiently cared for and maintained. Roseville’s utilities are among the few that have fully funded their infrastructure-rehabilitation program now and into the future. This means Roseville utility customers will be able to count on our utility infrastructure for many generations to come.
- Funding Challenges—Funding challenges for roadway infrastructure have caused the City to fall behind on its maintenance schedule for streets. Currently, roadway maintenance is about $50 million underfunded. Gas-tax rates, accrued on a per-gallon basis, were developed without an adjustment for inflation, minimizing their purchasing power with every year that passes. Gas-tax revenues have fallen also due to more fuel-efficient vehicles being on the road, reducing the demand for gasoline. In an attempt to shore up roadway infrastructure funding, the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA), along with its member jurisdictions, worked to place Measure M, a transportation sales-tax initiative, on the 2016 November ballot. While the measure was successful in Roseville (69 percent in favor), Rocklin (69 percent in favor), Lincoln (72 percent in favor), and the western unincorporated areas of the County, it did not receive the 66 percent countywide majority necessary to pass a local transportation sales tax. Because of the urgent need for additional infrastructure funding, PCTPA is evaluating the ability to create a transportation sales tax district that will include only those cities and areas of the county that supported Measure M.
- Funding Outlook—The City budgeted $13.37 million in FY2016-17 for roadway maintenance, which addresses the reconstruction of 3.7 miles of roadway. For FY2017-18, the City is budgeting another $7.27 million for 16 miles of roadway resurfacing. Funding for FY2018-19 and beyond are expected to return to the normal $4 million to $5 million level. FY2015-16 and FY2016-17 are an anomaly and have unusually high dollar amounts due to a number of factors described below:
o This summer’s storm-drain work has been planned for several years. Over that time, the City has accumulated over $2 million in the storm-drain account which will provide over 4,500 feet of storm-drain repair/ upgrades.
o The City obtained a Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant to help fund handicap-ramp improvements.
o Several projects, including the roller compacted concrete pilot project, are being funded from a one-time $6.5 million contribution from the Local Transportation Fund.
o Two non-gas tax-funded capital improvement projects are paying for some of the street reconstruction work.
Examples of FY2018-19 non-maintenance roadway infrastructure projects:
o Caltrans deemed the aging Oakridge Bridge over Linda Creek as insufficient and in need of replacement. Funding for reconstruction is being provided by the federal government.
o The Louis/Orlando Transfer Point Project will completely reconstruct Louis Lane using state and federal grants.
o The Sierra Gardens Transfer Point Project will completely reconstruct Sierra Gardens from Sunrise Avenue to Santa Clara Drive using Local Transit Funds.
o Identified in the City’s General Plan and Capital Improvement Project plan, the Woodcreek Oaks Widening Project will add a second northbound and southbound lane to the median of Woodcreek Oaks Boulevard between Crimson Ridge Way and Pleasant Grove Boulevard using $6.7 million in developer-paid Traffic Mitigation Fees.
Roller-Compacted Concrete — The City is also piloting the use of roller-compacted concrete, which will be tested at several locations in FY2017-18 where existing asphalt roadways are failing. It offers many benefits, including maintenance every 20-25 years, versus every 7-10 years for asphalt; lower construction cost, which helps the City close the current gas tax funding gap while allowing the City to repair more Roseville streets; and cooler roads during the day with brighter roads at night due to its lighter color.
Staff Expansion—Growth in Roseville’s economy, development, and population means an expansion of services. Over the past 10 years, the City has expanded services at the same time it has reduced staff. In 2008, the population of Roseville was 109,154 and is projected to be 138,150 in FY2017-18, a 27 percent increase that necessitates an expansion of services. Yet at the same time, on a per capita basis, this equates to a 22 percent reduction in staffing over the past 10 years since General Fund staffing decreased from 778 full-time equivalent employees to 608.6. As the demand for core services expands, we will be working with the community to determine service levels that reflect the reality that the City needs to live within its means. As a service provider, the City’s highest General Fund cost is labor. With one of Council’s goals being fiscal soundness, the City and its labor groups, including management, have worked hard over the past several years to manage labor costs. The changes we’ve made together still allow the City of Roseville to attract and retain competent, dedicated people to serve our community.
Controlling Labor Costs — The City started working several years ago on ways to ensure our organization lives within its means. It’s an important undertaking given that labor-related costs account for almost 75 percent of the City’s $141 million General Fund, which pays for a variety of services including fire, police, parks, recreation, library, and public works. Ensuring consistency among labor groups within our workforce and developing strategies to contain costs have been key focus areas. In partnership with our labor groups, we took proactive steps, which included:
o Controlling pension costs by transferring the responsibility to employees to fund 100 percent of the employees’ share of pension costs: This has significantly reduced pressure on the City’s budget.
o Capping liability for retiree health benefits: A defined-contribution plan is offered to new employees instead of the defined-benefit plan that previously existed. This means that employees, along with the City, contribute to saving for their retiree-medical benefits; and that the City’s cost associated with the defined-benefit plan will eventually be zero.
o Setting salary-level targets at median levels in labor-market comparison: Salary schedules for new employees have been reduced up to 21 percent in some cases to reflect median salaries in the labor market, instead of upper-end levels.
o Reducing the rate of increases within each salary range: The previous pay scales allowed for 5 percent increases between each step in a salary range. Now, new employees are eligible for increases no greater than 2.5 percent between each step in the range. This extends the time it takes to reach the highest level in the pay range, which can now be up to 15 years; slowing the growth rate of this expense.
Succession Planning—Over the next three years approximately 36 percent of the workforce is eligible to retire. The City continues to see its workforce retire with 44 employees retiring in 2016, and approximately 30 or more employees potentially retiring in 2017. In response, the City continues to focus on succession planning to ensure continuity of service delivery and streamlining its recruitment process to be more flexible and responsive. The recruitment process has been evolving to leverage new channels of recruiting through outreach and social media in order to reach a multi-generational workforce. Departments are increasing efforts to cross train and transfer knowledge related to City processes and programs to prepare for the ongoing retirements of the baby boomer generation.
Supervisory Academy—After a three-year hiatus, the City—in support of succession planning—launched its Effective Supervisory Practices program in March 2017. This nine-week "academy" is led by department heads and offers insight and recommendations about the day-to-day duties of supervisors. Addressing the more complex challenges all managers are faced with, City leaders seek to share their perspective in effective communication, motivation, and the importance of making ethical decisions as Roseville builds its organization of tomorrow. Participants include representatives from various departments, allowing cross-departmental information to be shared. Thirty colleagues, that would not likely have an opportunity to work together, are engaged in topics that build relationships to strengthen city operations. The academy is planned to continue to be offered twice annually
Continuing to Develop a Welcoming, Engaged Culture
In 2014, the City created an Organizational Culture & Leadership (OC&L) Committee with representatives from all departments to lead an assessment of the City’s organizational culture. Three focus areas emerged from surveys of employees: internal communications, valuing employees, and developing meaningful processes and policies.
- Customer-Service Training — The OC&L Committee established a sub-committee to refresh a citywide customer-service training program scheduled to kick off in the summer of 2017.
- Identification of Core Competencies — In May 2016, each employee was invited to take a survey and rank 38 competencies. The results provided six core competencies that will be the foundation of identifying what characteristics make employees successful within our organization. Collectively, we will begin to infuse these into our recruitment and assessment processes, make them part of our new evaluation system and incorporate into customer service training and onboarding programs. Future efforts will include establishing the behaviors necessary for an individual contributor, supervisor, manager, and executive.
- Diversity Training — The City’s Inclusion Committee was instrumental in establishing a diversity training for all supervisors and managers in FY2015-16. In FY 2016- 17, 28 staff went through a three-day certification to become internal facilitators of an Appreciating Differences Program. Appreciating differences in colleagues and the residents we serve fosters an inclusive and productive work environment. Having internal staff conduct the program allows the City to continue to engage our workforce in creating the Roseville of tomorrow.
- Employee-Recognition Program — The Employee Recognition Committee continues to provide venues for acknowledging those within our workforce who exceed performance expectations and set the standard for customer-service excellence. Individuals or teams can be nominated for outstanding work performance, innovation, emergency response, outstanding leadership, customer service, and community service. Each fall, the mayor and City Council present awards to the winners, in recognition of providing top-quality service to the Roseville’s residents, businesses, and visitors. Additionally, the committee coordinates a winter and summer luncheon that allows employees the opportunity to gather, eat, and celebrate the work we do, a small way of saying thank you for being a part of the Roseville family.