Quarterly Report: 2007, July - September (Q1), False Pass

False Pass 
John Nickels  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of False Pass 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
City provided services include piped water, electric, refuse collection, landfill, public safety office, volunteer fire, dock, airport (state contract), roads, community hall, youth center, ARCS television broadcast support, library, boat haul-out, pet registration, driver licenses, and voter registration. The city also owns and maintains the buildings housing the Post Office, Library, and Clinic. Construction of a small boat harbor and fish processor are both underway in 2006. Water is derived from a nearby spring and reservoir and is treated and stored in two 60,000-gallon tanks. Most homes are connected to the piped water system. Almost 80% of the homes are fully plumbed. Most residents have individual septic tanks, however many are experiencing leachfield failure. While not currently operating, wastewater from seafood processing flows directly into an outfall line. A community-wide septic system is designed and funding for construction is being sought. The community is in compliance with DEC water regulations. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Contact has been made several times this quarter to assist the new clerk with information involving community projects and grant reports, necessary for an ongoing audit. RUBA staff has also assisted the clerk in finding an acceptable format for financial reports that fulfills the RUBA requirement. After the community requested and signed a RUBA assistance agreement in June, RUBA staff drafted a work plan to be presented to the clerk and council this quarter. However, the clerk has been away from the community for an extended period, so the trip has been postponed. RUBA learned September 25 that the clerk has given notice of her resignation. The mayor and council members have posted the position. The community has temporarily lost Power Cost Equalization (PCE) payments due to lack of reporting. RUBA staff will provide assistance with completion of reports and training of new clerk to maintain proper documentation.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
In the coming quarter a draft work plan will be presented to the city council and staff, and the agreement signed by RUBA. Assistance will be offered with items on the work plan, and RUBA will attempt to make contact with the community via email, phone and fax at least weekly.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 27
Total Score:
51 of 54


Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
Yes The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
No 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
Yes 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.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
A budget for FY-07 has been adopted. Tax revenues from the sale of fish have continued to decline causing an anticipated deficiency that will be absorbed with savings. The new clerk had problems creating the monthly finance reports generated using QuickBooks Pro and Excel in the preferred format. Presented to the council instead was a profit and loss report with the budget information provided separately, with statements from checking and savings accounts also provided. Despite requests, RUBA has not received the report in any format this quarter.

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.
Yes 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
All essential accounting systems are in place using QuickBooks Pro accounting software. The utility continues to actively enforce the collection policy with success, however, there has been more difficulty noted on the part of customers to keep pace with increasing costs. The utility bills monthly and all customer service charges are combined on one invoice to avoid confusion.

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
The city remains current on all tax reports and deposits.

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.
Yes The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions.
Yes 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.
No 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
The city carries workers compensation insurance with AML/JIA and has received the Gold Pan award for an excellent safety record. Personnel folders for all employees are in place.

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 local governing body is very active in amending, adopting, and enforcing utility policy. They meet as required and the meetings are noticed properly. The utility operator, bookkeeper, and manager are all qualified individuals. RMW Doug Abbas travels to the community to provide on-site operator training as the community has cut all travel and training due to the loss of Municipal Revenue Sharing and lower levels of locally generated tax revenues, largely a result of the decline in the salmon fishery.

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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
Due to employee turnover, the city currently has a new operator who is receiving assistance from the regional RMW and is working to become certified. The utility operator presents a monthly meeting verbally or written at each council meeting.