RIVERSIDE, CA – The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada recently awarded Western Municipal Water District (Western) with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its Fiscal Year 2020-21 and 2021-22 Biennial Budget.
“Western values public trust, accountability and transparency, which is why we take pride in presenting a budget that shows where each dollar is planned to be spent,” said Western’s Chief Financial Officer/Assistant General Manager Rod LeMond. “Everything we receive from water and sewer rates, and other sources, like grants is carefully accounted for and our annual financial report is audited by independent external auditors.”
The GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
“As stewards of public funds, Western is continually looking for ways to stabilize Western’s financial position through cost-effective service, economical rates and investment strategies,” said Craig Miller, Western’s General Manager. “Because of our responsible and conservative approach, we can maintain existing systems and guarantee 100 percent service reliability for our customers.”
To meet the high standards of the program, the budget was reviewed by staff members in other impartial agencies. To be awarded, the budget must function as a policy and planning document that guides business operations while also being clear and accessible to the public. In addition to offering the budget online, Western went one step further to develop and distribute a budget-in-brief document to increase understanding and accessibility.
Western's secure financial standing and solid budget practices continue to be recognized. Western recently received the California Society of Municipal Financial Officers Operating Budget Excellence Award, and Fitch Ratings upgraded Western’s credit rating to AAA from AA+. The upgraded rating will lower interest rates for Western when issuing bonds for critical system projects, which speaks to Western’s ability to continue to provide safe, reliable, high-quality services while keeping rates as low as possible for customers.
Western’s financial practices, comprehensive budget document and a Budget-in-Brief are available to the public online. Learn more about Western’s financial policies and practices at wmwd.com/FinancialPolicies. For more information about Western’s budget, visit wmwd.com/Budget.