The City of Coppell is currently undergoing a multiyear, enterprise-wide transition to a new software vendor for financial, utility billing, asset management and human resources systems. As part of this project, water utility customer accounts will be converted to the new system.
The City already utilizes an increasing block rate structure (the conservation rate that is effective June through October). Therefore, the current billing system is already setup for an increasing block rate structure for water. The system is not setup to do winter averaging for sewer. Therefore, the recommendation from the software company that the City has partnered with for future utility billing was to not convert to winter averaging until after the City has implemented and used the new system for several months. This also provides staff with the ability to compare bills generated in the current system to bills generated in the new system. It is important the City has this ability as a tool to prevent incorrect bills being sent to customers. Bills must be correct, or the City risks losing the public’s trust.
In addition, the community should be provided an opportunity to adjust to the change. For example, from December 2021 through February 2022, the City could encourage customers to be aware of their water use and provide information concerning how they can impact their usage as Council is considering winter averaging for sewer volume. It is important that the City provide information to customers concerning water usage and the impact on their winter average. If Council wants to move forward with winter averaging, then the City would continue to communicate and educate customers regarding the change, use December 2022 through February 2023 to determine each customer’s winter average, and implement in April 2023.