Municipal Finance

Building sustainable communities requires mastery of the balance sheet—particularly the expenses and potential revenues linked to infrastructure and service delivery projects. Harris & Associates helps municipalities navigate their financial options to make these projects a reality.


For many city and county leaders, the to-do list of major projects keeps growing while budgets steadily shrink—but progress doesn’t have to halt. Whether you are repairing aging infrastructure or expanding services, the municipal finance professionals at Harris have the expertise to plan and execute strategies that appease stakeholders and align with community goals.

Prioritize, Plan, and Pay 

What is your community’s tolerance threshold for new fees? Are grants available for your projects? Do you need to pursue alternative funding? Harris answers these and other questions to provide the full picture of possibilities. We provide a comprehensive suite of consulting and execution services to meet municipalities’ funding needs such as special districts, development impact fees, public facilities financing plans, fiscal and economic analysis, rates and fees design, grants, loans, and emergency options such as Cal OES and FEMA. We also offer ongoing program support and administration to optimize your infrastructure investments.

Uncommon Multidisciplinary Expertise

Our unique breadth of technical expertise spans every aspect and phase of your projects, such as planning, funding, environmental permitting, civil engineering, project delivery, and construction management. This comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach provides the visibility required to foresee—and prevent—any potential challenges or roadblocks to success.

 

Related People

Michael McCormick, AICP

Michael McCormick, AICP

Division President / Strategic Advisory Services


Dennis Klingelhofer, PE

Dennis Klingelhofer, PE

Vice President / Municipal Finance + Special District Services


Alison Bouley, PE

Alison Bouley, PE

Senior Director / Municipal Finance + Special District Services


Joe Yew

Joe Yew

Senior Director / Public Finance


Hitta Mosesman

Hitta Mosesman

Senior Director / Community Economics + Housing Solutions


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  • Fiscal + Economic Analysis

    Fiscal + Economic Analysis

    As strategic advisors, Harris helps clients develop policies and procedures related to how a municipality leverages financial resources and options. We can help determine the right mix of development within your community relative to service costs. We also clarify the fiscal and economic impact of projects—including future maintenance costs—to inform strategies that balance the cost of development with new revenue. This is especially important when considering the adoption of specific plans or annexations.

  • Fiscal + Economic Analysis

    As strategic advisors, Harris helps clients develop policies and procedures related to how a municipality leverages financial resources and options. We can help determine the right mix of development within your community relative to service costs. We also clarify the fiscal and economic impact of projects—including future maintenance costs—to inform strategies that balance the cost of development with new revenue. This is especially important when considering the adoption of specific plans or annexations.

  • Feasibility Studies

    Feasibility Studies

    Harris helps clients evaluate the best strategy for successful project delivery and serve as an independent advisor to review funding needs. Small changes can have a significant impact on a project’s success: remaining transparent when additional funding is needed, ensuring costs are allocated equitably to different parts of the community, and spending sufficient time educating stakeholders.

    Our feasibility study services include:

    • Reviewing project plans, objectives, cost, and schedules
    • Evaluating alternative financing strategies and stakeholder support
    • Creating a roadmap for project delivery

  • Revenue Analysis

    Revenue Analysis

    Understanding both your short- and long-term revenue needs is critical to developing the best strategy to fund vital community projects and services. We have successfully helped agencies identify multi-year financing needs, including funding for the replacement of aging infrastructure and facilities. With this information, we can identify alternative funding strategies, recommend solutions based upon your specific requirements, and identify the path to successful implementation of the selected strategy. Our revenue analysis services include:

    • Developing multi-year financing needs
    • Replacement reserve studies
    • Alternative funding strategies

  • Development Impact Fees + Public Facilities Financing Plans

    Development Impact Fees + Public Facilities Financing Plans

    Harris works with all stakeholders—the developers, elected officials, and the community—to develop fee programs that meet all AB1600 requirements and support community goals for economic growth. Harris helps communities develop the defensible nexus needed to collect fees from new development to pay for the related infrastructure. We work with all stakeholders—the developers, elected officials, and the community—to develop fee programs that meet all legal requirements and support community goals for economic growth. As testimony to the effectiveness of our collaborative approach, we have never had a fee challenged.

  • Cost of Service Studies, Rates, and Fee Design

    Cost of Service Studies, Rates, and Fee Design

    Harris collaborates with agencies on strategies to identify and respond to cost drivers, and allocate costs equitably and fairly. We guide you through the process of establishing design rates to meet utility and stakeholder goals relative to conservation, affordability, and ease of administration. Our team helps yours navigate the changing complexities of Prop 218 requirements for California utilities, as well as other state mandates and regulations.

  • Cost Allocation Plans

    Cost Allocation Plans

    The first step in developing cost allocation plans: Identify the full costs associated with services and infrastructure projects. After identifying these costs, we help develop fee structures or cost reimbursement strategies to recover eligible costs, improve budget transparency, and comply with reporting requirements.

  • Capital Improvement Plans

    Capital Improvement Plans

    Developing long-range capital improvement plans requires an understanding of the infrastructure needed to serve the community—which often requires alternative funding strategies and sources. We can help you determine fund availability, whether “pay as you go” is most appropriate or you need a more long-term strategy. We can also explore the options of grants or outside funding to reduce the overall project cost.

  • Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts

    Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts

    Harris helps agencies address community-wide projects with Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs). These broad-based, multi-faceted financing mechanisms can serve local agencies as a present-day proxy to redevelopment authorities to build infrastructure and enhance overall economic development. The strength of EIFDs is the tremendous range of allowable infrastructure projects and the greater lifespan of the results.

  • Resilience Finance

    Resilience Finance

    Financing for resilient communities entails using traditional and custom financing models to support long-term resilience in infrastructure and natural systems in a changing and dynamic environment. Our team of climate change planners and finance professionals work together to develop tailored solutions to ensure climate change-related initiatives are analyzed to fit a community’s needs and that proposed projects can actually be implemented.