Quarterly Report: 2008, October - December (Q2), Ruby

Community:
Ruby 
Staff:
 
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Ruby 
Population:
185  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
1/24/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Approximately 65% of residents haul water from the washeteria and use outhouses. Individual wells and septic systems are also used. Construction of a new water source, water treatment plant, washeteria and lagoon was completed in 2006; the new washeteria opened to the public in mid-February 2006. A septic tank pump truck was purchased and delivered to Ruby in summer 2006. Future plans call for construction of a garage for the pump truck. The school operates its own well. Electricity is provided by the City of Ruby, through the Ruby Electric Utility. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The City of Ruby does not currently meet all essential indicators. In the forth quarter of 2006 the city hired a private consultant on a part-time basis to help the City get caught up on its financial recordkeeping and reporting. Since then, the City has made significant progress in addressing its financial recordkeeping and reporting needs. The most progress has occurred with the sustainable indicators, specifically in the area of finances. During this quarter, RUBA staff maintained phone and email contact with the accounting consultant, and made a site visit to the city clerk. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to monitor and assist, and to provide additional on-site training.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
46 of 54

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
Yes Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
Yes The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
Yes The utility has on hand a year's adequate fuel supply or it has a financial plan to purchase an adequate supply.
Yes The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources sufficient to cover operating expenses and Repair & Replacement (R) costs.
Yes YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
Yes YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Although the FY 08 washeteria budget is not balanced, and budgeted expenses exceed budgeted revenues, the City should have adequate reserves to cover the deficit for this fiscal year: those reserves may not be available in coming years. The City has not had a budget for many years prior and the current budget was collaboratively developed with educated guesses. Currently, the entire city's budget has income exceeding expenses and a budget amendment has been suggested but with other, more pressing priorities, it does not appear that an amendment will be adopted soon. According to the contracted bookkeeper, the washeteria loss is becoming less, although no conclusions as to why have been determined. This is due to, again, not having a budget for many years prior and no data available for a comparison. The contracted bookkeeper provided monthly reports, with a narrative, to the city council.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
Yes The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
Yes An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
Yes An accounts payable system is in place.
Yes The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
Yes A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
Yes The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.
Yes Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
No The utility has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase, and the approval process compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts.
Accounting Systems Comments
The water/sewer utility does not provide service to individual customers, therefore does not need to keep track of individual customers. On the other hand, the electric utility has more than 100 customers. The city's accounting consultant has been helping the city clerk set up the accounts receivable system in QuickBooks: the new system should enable the City to maintain more accurate records of electric utility customer accounts.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
Yes The utility is current on filing tax reports.
Yes The utility is current on making tax deposits.
Yes If there are any past due tax liabilities or recorded tax liens, a lien release has been issued or a repayment agreement has been signed and repayments are current.
Tax Problems Comments
According to phone contact with IRS and with Alaska Department of Labor, the City is current on filing tax reports and making tax deposits. The only unresolved tax issue is that there is some discrepancy between wages reported on the 2004 quarterly reports and wages reported on the 2004 W-2 forms. In 2005 the city received notice from Alaska Division of Retirement and Benefits regarding a very substantial unfunded termination liability following its withdrawal from the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). The amount due is for future health benefits and unemployment insurance for persons who had been enrolled in PERS while employed by the City of Ruby. The PERS liability remains unpaid, and the PERS issue remains unresolved.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.
No The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions.
No The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation.
Yes The utility has an adequate written hiring process.
Yes The utility has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least: I-9, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance.
Yes The utility has a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation, job training/oversight, and evaluations.
Yes The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
Not all personnel policies are consistently followed. Policies and job descriptions should be updated and while some job descriptions exist, there is not one for every position; the existing descriptions are adequate. On the employment acceptance letter from the City a probationary period is set.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
Yes The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
Yes The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
Yes The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances (or rules and regulations) necessary to give it the authority to operate.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
Yes The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The city clerk received Power Cost Equalization training in the spring of 2005; attended a Financial Management for Utility Managers workshop and an Introduction to Utility Management workshop in 2005 in Fairbanks; and has received on site QuickBooks training from RUBA staff and from the city's accounting consultant. Continued financial training for the city clerk is recommended and ongoing with oversight by the contracted bookkeeper.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
Yes The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The manager receives a monthly O&M report from the utility operator and routinely "spot checks" the facilities to see that the maintenance items are being completed.
No The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
Yes Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
Yes The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
Yes The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
Yes The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility operator uses daily, weekly, and monthly check lists, and submits the completed lists to the city clerk. According to the remote maintenance worker, the operator generally has the necessary spare parts on hand, and is dependable and reliable. The operator has a Water Distribution Level 1 certificate(expires 12/31/10), a Water Treatment Level 1 certificate (expires 12/31/08) and a Wastewater Collection OIT certificate (expires 12/31/09). The operator successfully completed an Introduction to Utility Management training course the third quarter 2007.