Eastern Municipal Water District

Action/Info Item

Approve and Authorize Implementation of Standby Tax Application Replacement Project


Department:Engineering ServicesSponsors:
Category:Action/Info ItemMeeting Workflows:Board Executive Committee Workflow


The District currently processes annual water “availability” and sewer standby tax fees to generate revenue used to construct, expand, or improve capital improvement projects and maintain and operate water and sewer facilities within its boundaries. The purpose of “Standby” fees is to equitably share some of the cost of having water and sewer available to properties within EMWD’s service area boundaries. 


As an early adopter of the automated standby tax process with the County over 25 years ago, the District continues to utilize County Assessor’s parcel data to assess standby tax charges placed on the annual county tax roll. While the current system maintains the District’s tax assessment records data, the software lacks analytical reporting and requires manual data analysis to respond to customer standby fee inquiries. Furthermore, data incompatibility between the EMWD standby tax application and updated Riverside County property owner data formats has resulted in manual analysis of data derived after the Tax Year 2018-2019 standby tax assessments. 


To address current business needs, additional application features have been identified to improve workflow and data processing efficiencies that leverage Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies. A replacement application incorporating these design features will be referred to as the “Standby Tax Assessment Reporting System” (STARS). Expected benefits of this new system include an application dashboard to monitor standby workflows and data processes, data manipulation tools to support County parcel data updates and overall data management, reporting tools to process required documents to the County, and a property owner self-service web portal. 


Numerous inquiries over the past several years failed to identify a commercial off-the-shelf solution to replace the custom standby tax application. On January 2020, the District developed and advertised Request for Proposal (RFP) No. 3227 - Standby Tax Application Recommendation and Replacement seeking professional services to replace the system with outsourced services, off-the-shelf software, or design a replacement application.  Two respondents provided design-build.  The selection team scored the proposals approach, quality of design, and references to validate experience and selected NorthSouth GIS, LLC to complete a design proposal for a replacement Standby Tax Application. 


Following interviews with EMWD staff and key contacts at the County to evaluate the existing legacy application and related business processes, a design proposal was presented to EMWD which included business requirements and system specifications for a new replacement application. 


The vendor selection process involved EMWD staff meeting with five vendors. Only two vendors proposed solutions for further evaluation. Of the two proposals, NorthSouth GIS, LLC offered what staff determined to be the best option with a concise scope of work providing a GIS solution for greatly improved data processing efficiency and accuracy. As a result, EMWD staff supports and recommends the higher value NorthSouth GIS, LLC proposal.

Financial/Strat Plan/Enviro


Collection of the standby tax assessments reimburses the District for costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the District's Water and Sewer Facilities.  Approximately $5,800,000 were collected on the property tax roll for 2019-2020.



Financial Stability: Enhance and maintain EMWD’s strong financial position and credit quality by identifying and implementing specific opportunities to improve underlying financial metrics.





Authorize the General Manager or Designee to approve and authorize the Standby Tax Application Replacement Project including Agreements with Safe Software for software licenses and with NorthSouth GIS, LLC (NSGIS) for professional services; and an additional appropriation in the amount of $343,575.


Meeting History

Oct 15, 2020 7:30 AM  Board Executive Committee Regular Meeting
draft Draft
Oct 21, 2020 9:00 AM  Board of Directors Regular Meeting
draft Draft

Mr. Ward provided a presentation on this item

MOVER:David J. Slawson, Board Member
SECONDER:Philip E. Paule, Vice President
YES:Ronald W. Sullivan, Philip E. Paule, Stephen J. Corona, Randy A. Record, David J. Slawson