Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District STRATEGIC PLAN

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1 Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District STRATEGIC PLAN The Strategic Plan identifies the District s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and provides direction and focus to help the District perform not only efficiently and cost-effectively, but also with leadership and innovation. STRATEGIC PLAN 1

2 The District uses strategic planning to assess and evaluate its current position and to plan for the future. The Strategic Plan identifies the District s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and provides direction and focus to help the District perform not only efficiently and cost-effectively, but also with leadership and innovation. The Strategic Plan is continually assessed and adjusted to suit the District s changing environment and the needs of the District. Financial planning is a parallel process that provides scenarios and guidance to implement the District s strategic plan. This process identifies the possibilities and constraints the District will face in funding programs and initiatives. The District undertakes strategic and financial planning concurrently so that there is a direct link among priorities, initiatives, and funding. Executive Summary The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District completes a strategic plan every three years. The Strategic Plan emphasizes environmental and organizational best practices that will help the District effectively and efficiently reach its 2035 Vision and goals. District staff worked together and identified internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats. The Plan identifies goals and strategic objectives to address the identified issues and opportunities. The District recognizes that it has core functions that will be ongoing, but the Strategic Plan focuses on significant issues that go beyond the District s core functions and are tied to the District s 2035 Vision. The District s mission is to cost-effectively protect the quality of the region s water resources. The mission guides the core activities at the District, specifically water reclamation. The District operates two water reclamation facilities through a private contract operator. Additionally, the District manages several programs designed to mitigate local waterway pollution and improve water quality such as the Industrial Waste Pretreatment Program and the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. The District routinely collects data and monitors its activities to ensure efficient, sustainable operations. Mission The District measures and manages individual and division performance to help it achieve its mission. As a steward of public funds and a major player in ensuring the health of the area s waterways, the District values accountability and uses the objectives laid out in the Strategic Plan to direct individual and division day-to-day activities. 2 STRATEGIC PLAN

3 Planning for the Future Bradford Beach The District emphasizes both short- and long-term goals to achieve its 2035 Vision and overall mission. The District continually evaluates its operations, its use of resources, and its management practices. The District aims for sustainable operations in a future with ever-changing financial and environmental resources. This focus on planning is seen throughout the organization. It is guided by the District s 2035 Vision, enhanced through regular facilities planning that targets District operations and infrastructure needs, enriched by its broad Sustainability Plan, and enacted by its shorter term Strategic Plan. Facilities Plan Every ten years or so the District reviews its facilities and projects the District s future needs. The District s most recent facilities plan, the 2020 Facilities Plan, uses the Watershed Approach to control water pollution. This approach is recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency as the best method for water resource planning. It has been used with great success around the country because, instead of focusing attention on one particular water quality problem, the Watershed Approach looks at all sources of pollution. The Watershed Approach views the water systems as a whole, using nature s boundaries the watershed divides for planning instead of municipal limits Vision The 2035 Vision, adopted in 2010, has two elements: integrated watershed management and climate change adaptation with an emphasis on energy efficiency. Using the guiding principles of the sustainable bottom line and water quality leadership and collaboration, the District has set forth this vision: MMSD envisions a healthier Milwaukee region and a cleaner Lake Michigan accomplished through its leadership in attaining zero overflows, zero basement backups, and improved storm water management. MMSD will be a model in its management of climate change impacts on wet weather and its focus on energy efficient and sustainable operations. Similar to the Strategic Plan, the 2035 Vision contains strategic goals and objectives. The goals focus on using green infrastructure, reducing the District s carbon footprint by 90 percent from its 2005 baseline, and working with local organizations, nonprofits, and universities to further water industry knowledge and environmental stewardship. IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE ITS MISSION, THE DISTRICT USES THE FOLLOWING KEY MEASURES TO MONITOR ITS PROGRESS: + + Compliance with state and federal permits including the discharge permit that regulates combined sewer and sanitary sewer overflow, effluent quality as well as air emission permits. + + Monitoring of industrial waste discharge and groundwater quality + + Milorganite product analyses + + Compliance with competitive procurement practices + + Local worker and local office participation + + Affirmative action recruitment and hiring + + Responsiveness to Freedom of Information requests + + Accuracy and timing of accounts payable, receivable, and payroll actions + + Information systems effectiveness + + Timeliness of communication of District issues + + Implementation of Capacity, Management, Operation, & Maintenance and Asset Management Program + + Implementation of the Wet Weather Peak Flow Management Plan + + Use of the Sustainability Plan and Green Infrastructure Plan + + Implementation of the Private Property Inflow and Infiltration program STRATEGIC PLAN 3

4 Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) District staff from across all divisions identified internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats. The SWOT analyses steered the objectives and action items for the Strategic Plan. STRENGTHS + + A sophisticated workforce with a willingness to innovate. + + Recognized for its financial strength. + + Culture of team work and a common commitment to the organization. + + Recognized among its peers as a leader in water quality protection. + + Strong working relationships with local professional organizations. WEAKNESSES + + Costly to maintain and replace aging infrastructure. + + Changing workforce demographics and the loss of institutional knowledge. + + Changing technology makes it difficult to provide the most efficient and effective systems for internal operations. + + Extensive research program. OPPORTUNITIES + + Strong working relationships with other regional entities. + + Improved decision making with the Asset Management program. + + Utilization of technology and social media to boost outreach efforts. + + Succession planning for the District s future. THREATS + + Impact of wet weather and increasingly severe storms threaten District operations. + + Increasing amount of data is costly to store and maintain. + + Number and complexity of regulatory requirements. 4 STRATEGIC PLAN

5 Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Headquarters Strategic Plan The Strategic Plan uses the strategic planning process of the National Association for Clean Water Agencies. The process identifies: + + Goal areas that comprise the District s strategic outlook + + Strategic Objectives that provide further direction on how to provide the most benefit to the Goal area + + Action items that identify specific measures to be taken to accomplish the objective The strategic plan needs to reflect the dynamic nature of its current management and environment so that it remains a viable plan. The plan is intended to be flexible and realistic rather than rigid and specific. The District operates in a constantly changing environment; thus, it is imperative that the District can evaluate and reassess the Strategic Plan as needed. The breadth and depth of the District s executive management team helps the District identify issues and plan accordingly. The Strategic Plan reflects the dynamic nature of its current management and environment so that it remains a viable plan. The annual budget process will aid in the achievement of the Strategic Plan as annual budgets prioritize and allocate resources for programs that advance the Plan s objectives. STRATEGIC PLAN 5

6 Environmental As an organization whose mission directly impacts the environment, and as an organization that is a significant user of environmental resources, the District is committed to environmental responsibility and water resource management. While climate change and aging infrastructure challenge the District, the District is nationally recognized for its watershed stewardship and innovative solutions. The District looks forward to expanding research, applying integrated watershed management practices, and green infrastructure, as well as improving water quality throughout a common geographical area. Integrated Watershed Management Integrate activities of watershed partners toward the goal of having integrated watershed management practices. The outcome of the District s core mission is a high level of water quality in the region s riverways and Lake Michigan. These water resources touch the region, and the District recognizes and performs well in its limited capacity to affect change in water quality. The District also recognizes that to go beyond what it can achieve alone, a broader perspective of the issues related to water quality is needed. EXPLORE adaptive management approach for phosphorous reductions consistent with Total Maximum Daily Load findings EXPAND watershed permitting PLAN targeted implementation of green infrastructure 6 STRATEGIC PLAN

7 Stormy Lakefront The watershed approach considers all activities within a landscape that impact the health of the watershed. Decisions are based on all the water resources, all the water uses, and all the threats to water quality throughout a common geographical area. Climate Change Preparedness Provide flexible, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions to wastewater treatment operations recognizing that climate change may impact future operations and that resources the District relies on to perform treatment operations may be limited. Climate change may influence District operations and facilities. The level of wet weather influences not only daily, monthly and annual operations and operations planning, but it also influences the level of investment that the District makes in its system and facilities. Being prepared for change, and having plans that adapt to and mitigate climate change are in the District s best interest when planning for its future. Not only that, District operations are energy intensive and this becomes not only a concern in terms of availability of energy resources, but also the cost of energy resources. Focusing on sustainable sources of energy and energy efficiency and reduction will help the District position itself to continue stable and cost effective operations without reliance on fossil fuels. CREATE a reporting mechanism for the 2035 Vision DEVELOP a climate change vulnerability analysis REDUCE the District s carbon footprint and increase energy efficiency EXPLORE additional renewable energy sources STRATEGIC PLAN 7

8 Solar Panels on top of Jones Island Reclamation Facility Permit Compliance Continue to achieve permit compliance and, where possible, exceed permit compliance requirements. Combined sewer overflow discharges include a mix of domestic, commercial, and industrial wastewater, and storm water runoff. Combined sewer overflow discharge pollutes the waterways and threatens environmental and public health. Regular permit compliance will help the District achieve its ultimate goal of zero overflows by REDUCE overflow volumes through the implementation of the Capital Improvement Program Asset Management Continue to ensure District infrastructure can meet current and future operational needs. The most recent capital assets installed from the Water Pollution Abatement Program was completed in the mid-1990s. The District has recently implemented asset management and Capacity, Management, Operation & Maintenance program to better prepare for and pre-empt costly asset failures. UPDATE current inventory of District assets including: year put in place, condition assessment, and useful life. DEVELOP refined models for predictive reporting. 8 STRATEGIC PLAN

9 Organizational Effectiveness Maximizing organizational effectiveness will help the District achieve its mission. Organizational effectiveness is the intersection of business strategy, human resources, and operational management. As a steward of public funds, the District must ensure it is as efficient and effective as possible. Evolving technology and ever-changing business requirements challenge the District to creatively meet its needs. To maximize its effectiveness, the District will responsibly manage its data and records, pursue financial and budgeting best practices, invest in its human capital, and collaborate with regional entities to further its mission and advance water industry knowledge. Human Capital Ensure the District successfully manages organizational change through succession planning and targeted human capital development. Computer Bay within the MMSD Headquarter building The District projects 37% eligible retirements through the year With those retirements comes not only a significant loss of institutional knowledge, but also a potentially more tech savvy skill set through new hires. These are two organizational changes of significant magnitude and impact. STRENGTHEN internal training programs and increase opportunities for employees to learn about different District operations and processes. CONTINUALLY improve the effectiveness of performance measurement programs. Big Data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. It is often difficult to capture, store, search, share, and analyze. Information Technology, Data and Records Management Ensure the District optimizes its technology systems and processes for current needs and plans appropriately for future needs as it becomes a key player in creating, storing, and using Big Data. The District collects data every minute, hour, day, and year. The data is used by the District and other agencies to ensure that data-based decision making is used when identifying cost-effective solutions to address water quality goals. The creation, collection, and storage of data will continue to be a major and likely increasing expenditure in the District s operating budget. Properly planned solutions will be the most cost-effective and operationally useful. DEVELOP both a short- and long-range technology plan to include identified user application needs, document management, and data storage, all in keeping with Public Records law. PROVIDE appropriate training and ongoing user support. REGULARLY identify emerging technology trends and adjust technology based on changing business requirements. CREATE a records management plan, including electronic records for the Records Center and records drawings. STRATEGIC PLAN 9

10 The New Normal, is a term that Bill Gross coined in March, 2009, to define the economic landscape for years, or decades, to come following the economic crisis of Economists predict the New Normal will include lower household debt, higher personal savings, and less consumption which will affect both the domestic and international economy. Finance Ensure the District plans for future financial flexibility for both budgets in terms of the New Normal, known short-term constraints, and the impact of potential changes to both budgets beginning in The District has two budgets, Capital and Operations & Maintenance. For the Capital Budget, the District has a period of increasing debt service expenditures in the years Without significantly higher than historical tax levy increases or other sources of revenue, project spending will diminish in these years. For the Operations & Maintenance Budget, there could be a related impact in the amount of charges to capital that offset Operations & Maintenance labor and fringe benefit expenditures. In addition, the level of the Operations & Maintenance reserves that are available to apply to future budgets will be limited. EXPAND markets for the use of Milorganite. EXPLORE other sources of revenue or revenue strategies. INCREASE, to the extent possible, funding from grants and other sources. 10 STRATEGIC PLAN

11 Menomonee Valley Restoration Project South Shore Water Reclamation Facility s Methane Tanks Regional and Public-Private Collaboration and Efficiency Provide District customers with effective solutions through regional collaboration or public-private collaboration as it makes sense. The District has a specific core mission of treating wastewater combined with flood management jurisdiction. However, the District s leadership has identified broad innovative solutions that often go beyond the scope of what happens at a treatment plant. These innovative solutions often lend themselves to collaboration with other agencies as it relates to solutions for water quality, energy, and human capital. EXPLORE collaboration with other regional entities for employee benefits in order to offer the most cost-effective benefit packages. DEVELOP a communication strategy to educate and promote how the District serves its community. DEVELOP neighborhood programs to preserve water quality and combat the negative impact of stormwater. EXPLORE cost-saving opportunities under the existing Veolia Water Milwaukee contract and future contracts. PARTNER with local organizations to advance water industry knowledge. STRATEGIC PLAN 11

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