Quarterly Report: 2007, January - March (Q3), Ruby

Andy Durny  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Ruby 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
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 this year. 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. Foundation work for a permanent garage has been completed, and construction of the garage is scheduled for 2007. Preliminary plans for the haul garage include hooking it up to a waste heat system from the power plant. 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 currently does not meet all essential indicators. In the last two quarters, the city clerk resigned twice but returned to work after both times when no one else was available to work in the city office. Last quarter the city hired a private accounting consultant on a part-time basis to help the city get caught up on its financial recordkeeping and reporting. During this quarter RUBA staff maintained phone and email contact with the mayor, the city's accounting consultant, and the city clerk. The city completed its overdue FY 07 budget as well as other financial reports required for release of Municipal Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) funds and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) recent release of those funds will help the city get caught up on payment of past due bills.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to monitor and assist, and to provide additional on-site training.
Essential Indicators:
21 of 25
Sustainable Indicators:
16 of 27
Total Score:
37 of 52


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.
N/A The utility has on hand a year's adequate fuel supply or it has a financial plan to purchase an adequate supply.
No 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.
No YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
No YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city adopted its FY 07 budget. Although the washeteria budget is not balanced, and overall budgeted expenses exceed overall budgeted revenues, the city should have adequate reserves to cover the deficiencies for this fiscal year: those reserves may not be available in coming years. There is some question of the accuracy of the budgeted amounts, including some significant differences between the budgeted amounts and the amounts in the business plan completed in 2006. To determine the accuracy of the budgeted amounts for the washeteria, additional data is needed on user fees, fuel consumption and electrical usage and rates.The city is currently trying to address these issues.

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, and has been using a manual accounts receivable system. Although use of the Excel program has helped the city improve its billing procedure for Ruby Electric, additional improvements are needed in order to keep better and more reliable track of 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.
No The utility is current on making tax deposits.
N/A 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 a phone contact with IRS, the City has an unpaid liability of approximately $6600 for 2006. According to phone contact with Alaska Department of Labor, the city is current on filing tax reports with the state, and has a small (under $20) balance due.In 2005 the city received notice from Alaska Division of Retirement and Benefits of 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
No 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.
No 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's workers compensation policy was cancelled due to non-payment of bills. A payment was recently sent, and the policy is in the process of being renewed, but we have not yet received confirmation that the policy is in effect. Not all personnel policies are consistently followed, and some policies and job descriptions should be updated.

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. Additional financial training for the city clerk is needed.

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 12/31/07), a Water Treatment Level 1 certificate (expires 12/31/08) and a Wastewater Collection OIT certificate (expires 12/31/07).