Quarterly Report: 2006, April - June (Q4), Saxman

Community:
Saxman 
Staff:
Lawrence Blood  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Saxman 
Population:
405  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/26/2006 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a dammed reservoir, is treated and stored in a 128,000-gal. tank. The City of Saxman operates a piped water and sewer system. All homes are plumbed. A new sewage treatment plant and ocean outfall were recently completed. A few homes use individual septic tanks. Refuse is collected by a private company and disposed of at the Ketchikan landfill. Electricity is provided by Ketchikan Public Utilities. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The latest Assessment of Management Capacity Indicators for Saxman was conducted on 5/24/05. At that time, Saxman met all essential capacity indicators except for being three months behind on filing required Federal tax reports. In May 2006, Division of Community Advocacy hired a new southeast region RUBA staff person. No RUBA-related activities occurred in the community this quarter 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Provide assistance as requested and monitor the progress towards meeting essential capacity indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
12 of 27
Total Score:
37 of 53

Finances

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.
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.
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
A balanced and realistic FY06 budget has passed and the fiscal year started on July 1, 2005. The City of Saxman has a Utility budget that is separate from the overall City budget. Utility revenue and expenses are listed in this budget. The Utility receives revenues sufficient to cover operating expenses; however, user fees do not completely cover operating costs causing the City of Saxman to subsidize utility services with other sources of funding. Examination of the Utility budget reveals that year-to-date revenues and expenditures combine to create a $14,000 deficit. The City Council supports the Utility through budget amendments as necessary.

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
The City of Saxman has adopted and actively follows a collections policy and combined utility bills are distributed on a monthly basis. The adopted account receivables system documents customer payments and reports past due accounts with corresponding amounts. The City actively pursues delinquent utility accounts and refers delinquent customers to a collection agency after 120 days past due. The City uses both Fundware and QuickBooks on a Windows 2000 computer platform for its accounting system. QuickBooks is used for accounts receivable, while Fundware tracks accounts payable, payroll taxes, and cash disbursements. The Finance Director uses a manual written receipt system to record incoming funds and later enters the information into Fundware. The City uses Fundware for their chart of accounts. The Finance Director completes monthly bank reconciliations and reports reconciling all bank accounts.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No The utility is current on filing tax reports.
Yes 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
The City of Saxman uses Fundware to calculate, track, and report payroll liabilities. The IRS reports that the City is not current on filing tax reports. The IRS reports they do not have records of receiving the last three quarterly filings, but does report required tax deposits are current.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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 of Saxman carries workers compensation insurance coverage through the Alaska Municipal League/Joint Insurance Association. The City of Saxman follows the personnel policy adopted in the Saxman Municipal Code. The City is in the process of updating the City Code and copies of the Personal Policy, Job Descriptions,Evaluation Process, and the Hiring Process were not available for RUBA review. There are personnel folders for every municipal employee that contains recommended documentation including an I-9, job application, and a letter of acceptance. The city clerk reports the City has a probationary period for new hires that includes systematic orientation, job training, and oversight. The City provides training opportunities as needed.

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
No The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
No The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The City of Saxman owns and operates the water and sewer system. The City Council is the policy making body for the Utility and is active in guiding policy. The City Council supports the enforcement of Utility policy. The Operators have OIT level certifications, which are appropriate for the small treated classification of facility. The Citys Finance Director acts as the Utility Clerk. She has worked for the City in her present capacity since 1997 and has worked for Saxman since 1991. She uses Fundware and QuickBooks to keep the Utility's books.

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.
No The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
No The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The City has two operators working on the utility systems who have the necessary level of certification. The Operators have a preventive maintenance plan for the sanitation facilities. A monthly O and M report is prepared and spot checks are conducted on a regular basis. While the Operators conduct regular safety meetings, and discuss potential risks before starting a job, they do not have a safety manual. Utility staff are in the process of developing such a manual, however. There have been no problems or outages due to management issues and the Utility is operating at the proposed level of service. The Utility has completed a CCR, but is on the SNC list for violations of the SWTR. They had 3 of 6 months clean samples towards RTC, then a new violation in March 2005. A notice of Violation will lbe issued by April 18, 2005. This is not a hardware related issue. The Operators are in the process of developing an inventory control list and a critical spare parts list, but do not currently have these documents.