Carrolloton Water Utility`s `Declaration of Competitiveness` the Challenges of Managed Competition

The City of Carrollton (City) has embarked on a managed competition program encompassing a broad organizational wide effort to identify departments that would be candidates for partial or complete outsourcing. Carrollton’s Water Utility Division (WUD) has responded positively to this challenge, and their approach is an example of a progressive and proactive utility. They have initiated substantial changes and improvements to field and other work practices over the past several years and continue to identify areas of improvement. Typical to many public agencies, the water and sewer providers of Carrollton did not get the same recognition as the fire and police departments, and the importance of their roll was misunderstood. During this program, an effort to educate rate payers, City Council, City Management and other stakeholders about the role of the Water Utility Division and how they manage the City’s distribution and collection systems.

Quick Facts

  • WUD provides the only city service that is used daily by all customers. Each day the average family turns on the tap 70 to 100 times
  • WUD provides 30,000 residential and 5,000 commercial customers with water service
  • WUD maintains a water distribution system that includes 512 miles of mains, 3 pump stations, 4,564 fire hydrants, 6 elevated storage tanks and 8 ground storage tanks
  • WUD maintains a wastewater collection system that includes 421 miles of mains and 19 lift stations

This paper details the managed competition program, the challenges of its implementation and the initiatives and accomplishments that have transformed the Utility and its employees into a successful, competitive team. Noteworthy elements of this program include:

  • WUD saved $600,000 in annual operating costs while providing the same levels of service to meet community expectations.
  • Current workforce comprised of 56 FTEs (reduced from 76 FTEs in FY2003) and an operating budget of $24,189,000.00 for FY 05-06.
  • Successfully declared competitive
  • Executed a services operating and Maintenance agreement with the City Managers Office and other supporting departments.

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