2024 TMUA Utility Leadership and Management Conference

2024 TMUA Utility Leadership and Management Conference

Registration | Agenda | Hotel | Sponsors

The emphasis of the Texas Municipal Utilities Association is the management and direction of municipal utilities, including the special relationship city managers, members of governing bodies, and boards of directors have with municipal utilities. The TMUA Annual Conference is a forum where members can learn from each other and benefit from their interaction with other municipal utility managers in Texas.

Date

February 29 – March 1, 2024

Location

Tapatio Spring Hill Country Resort, 1 Resort Way, Boerne, TX 78006

Registration

Category*By February 12*After February 12
Member$275$300
Nonmember$325$350
Guest Ticket for Thursday Dinner$50$50
Cancellation Policy:
If you are registered and cannot attend, we encourage you to send a substitute. If you cannot send a substitute, a $50 cancellation fee will be assessed if written cancellation is received by February 12, 2023. No refunds will be honored after February 12, 2024.

Hotel Accommodations

The Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort, located 1 Resort Way, Boerne, TX 78006, has extended a $199 room rate for the nights of 02/28/24 and 02/29/2024. Please do not delay in making your arrangements. The cutoff date for the room block has been extended to February 9. Only general availability will remain after January 29. If you are having trouble booking your room, please contact the reservations desk at (855) 627-2243.

Sponsors

Please see our full list of sponsors here. To inquire about sponsoring the 2024 TMUA Utility Leadership and Management Conference, please email tmua@tml.org.


Wednesday, February 28

Speakers and sessions are subject to change. All events are at the hotel unless otherwise noted. All meals shown in the agenda are included with your registration.

1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Sponsor Move-In

3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Board Meeting

3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Registration


Thursday, February 29

7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Registration

7:30 – 8:15 a.m.

Breakfast

8:15 – 8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

TMUA President Laura Wilson, Deputy Director – Infrastructure, City of Fort Worth

8:30 – 9:15 a.m.

LCR/LCRR/LCRI:  How do Utilities Manage Compliance?

This presentation will assist utilities with a comparison of the different rule requirements and options for utilities to manage the compliance.  

Stacy Walters, Regulatory Environmental Administrator, Fort Worth Water

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.

Precision Pays: Common Mistakes to Avoid in Utility Billing

This presentation will discuss the importance of accuracy in the utility billing process and will take a deeper dive on some of the more complex utility billing situations including, but not limited to, billing for multi-family customers and outside City customers.  The presentation will discuss common mistakes found in billing systems, including, but not limited to, data input errors, billing adjustments, and errors made within the calculation process.  The presentation will then address the impact of inaccurate data on financial reporting and revenue management.  The goal of the presentation will be to instruct utility managers on the importance of the data contained within their utility billing system and how inaccurate data directly affects their revenue stream.  The overarching message to be conveyed by the presentation is that improper management of the billing cycle by incorrectly capturing data can result in substantial revenue loss, management challenges for the utility, and worst case, potentially result in unneeded litigation.

Chris Ekrut, Chief Financial Officer, and Kim Bostik, Senior Manager, NewGen Strategies & Solutions, LLC

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.

Networking Break with Exhibitors

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Talent Management Strategies: The Who, What, Why and How of Workforce Development

Over the last several years, attracting employment candidates has become more challenging, and retaining these employees, even more challenging.  This presentation will provide a review of labor market trends and strategies to assist municipal utility departments in the recruitment and retention of staff.  It will also provide information to strengthen recruitment efforts, improve employee retention and promote positive employee development. 

Hector Mendoza, Director of Human Resources, City of Canyon

Lunch and Keynote

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Word from our Sponsors.

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Lunch KeynoteState Water Plan

Chairwoman Paup will provide an overview of the State Water Plan and the financial assistance opportunities that the Texas Water Development Board provides. She will also discuss the progress of implementing the Texas Water Fund and the New Water Supply for Texas Fund. Those funds were created following the passage of Proposition 6 in November, which garnered 78% approval from Texas voters.

Brooke Paup, Chairwoman, Texas Water Development Board

1:15 – 2:00 p.m.

TCEQ-Texas Optimization Program (TOP) for Surface Water Treatment Plants

This session will discuss how the GBRA- San Marcos Water Treatment Plant has kept their effluent turbidity below 0.10 to be recognized under the TCEQ-TOP program for 10 years.

Kasey Belote, Plant Manager, San Marcos WTP, Alliance WTP

2:00 – 2:45 p.m.

Water Challenges in Central Texas

As Texas continues to grow, meeting the water needs for the future of Texas poses many challenges. Mr. Collinsworth will talk about water planning in Texas and how the Brazos River Authority is facing those challenges in its efforts to manage, develop, and protect a long-term water supply.

David Collingsworth, General Manager/ CEO, Brazos River Authority

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Networking Break with Exhibitors

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

How Are Texas Cities Navigating Consent Decree

Municipalities and utility districts across the nation or more importantly across Texas are faced with increasing regulatory compliance around wastewater collection systems related to sanitary sewer overflows. Many communities are seeing this increased regulatory compliance in the form of a consent decree which is a legal document that formalizes a program lasting for a set period of time, typically ranging from ten to fifteen years, to improve wastewater system performance with an overall goal of reducing sanitary sewer overflows. This presentation will discuss the ins and outs of consent decrees regarding their negotiations, key components and framework, implementation process, legal provisions such as stipulated penalties, financial considerations, and required submittals and documentation. The presentation will also look specifically at the City of Corpus Christi’s consent decree and its unique elements and will provide key takeaways and lessons learned from the negotiations process. Finally, the presentation will look at specific steps that can be taken to improve your wastewater collection system to avoid being placed in a consent decree program.

Temple Williamson, Senior Project Manager, Pipeline Analysis

4:15 – 5:15 p.m.

Texas Capitol Report – Outcomes from Last Legislative Session and Future Outlook

This presentation will feature an overview of bills from the 2023 Texas Legislature that impact Texas municipal utilities, along with related rulemaking and evolving issues for next session. It will also include general guidance on the state legislative process and how to track future legislation.

Heather Cooke, Chief Administrative Officer, Austin Water

5:15 – 6:30 p.m.

Free Time

6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Reception


Friday, March 1

7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Registration

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast and Business Meeting

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Watch out for that pothole!  Navigating Common Legal Hurdles for Municipal Utilities

Worried about tort claim lawsuits?  Utility enforcement from state regulators?  Disputes over contracts?  This presentation by Lora Naismith and Nathan Vassar will cover a variety of municipal utility legal challenges, including those related to Tort Claims Act developments, court interpretations of municipal contracts (including governmental immunity), as well as trends in regulatory enforcement in water/wastewater.  The presentation will identify and discuss recent court cases and agency updates as well on such topics.

Nathan Vassar, Principal, and Lora Naismith, Associate, Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C.

10:45 a.m. – Noon

Understanding the Why behind Challenging Employees

Regardless of industry, organizations across the world often struggle with one constant challenge…difficult people. This presentation aims to identify some of the reasons why employees become difficult and provide a few approaches as to how to approach a challenging relationship. Employees at-large aren’t difficult just for the sake of being difficult. Their history, your approach, and their communication needs are often drivers of this behavior. By the end of this briefing, you should be able to diagnose some of the drivers behind the behavior of difficult employees, as well have a few ideas as to how you can approach them.

Shane Zonder, Assistant Water Director, Management Services Division, Fort Worth Water

Noon

Adjourn