Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), Coffman Cove

Coffman Cove 
Lawrence Blood  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Coffman Cove 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Coffman Cove operates and manages a piped water and sewer system. The city picks up garbage locally once a week and delivers the refuse to a land fill site in Thorne Bay.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Juneau RUBA staff traveled to Coffman Cove on February 16, 2011 to complete a RUBA Assessment of Management Capacity Indicators. The city had requested a management assessment to prepare for the possibility of receiving Village Safewater funding to upgrade their existing water distribution systems. The findings in this assessment demonstrates that the city's current level of technical, financial, and managerial capacity meet the essential criteria. RUBA staff will continue to monitor the assessment indicators and provide assistance if requested. Juneau staff also assisted the clerk in drafting a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The city council recently amended the election procedures in the municpal code to modify the time requirements for candidates to file for office. Municipalities in Alaska may not implement changes to their election practicies without first receiving a federal preclearance. The U. S. Justice Department has 60 days to respond to the the city's request for the voting practice change. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
In the coming quarter, RUBA staff will continue to offer RUBA assistance as needed or requested to address any unmet sustainable indicator.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 27
Total Score:
45 of 53


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
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
The fiscal year for the city is July 1 through June 30. The FY11 budget was adopted by a non-code ordinance on June 17, 2010. The utility budget is part of the overall city budget. Utility revenues are included in the city's locally generated revenues. Utility-related expenditures are listed separately as three different services in the budget: Water/Sewer Administration, Water/Sewer Treatment Plant, and Water/Sewer System and Lines. The FY11 utility budget is realistic; however, budgeted expenses exceed anticipated revenues by $47,400. Coffman Cove Municipal Code 7.03.050 requires that the water and sewer utilities are included as part of the agenda at every regular council meeting. Verbal operational reports and written financial reports are provided to the council at the monthly meetings. Financial reports consist of a balance sheet and a current month profit and loss statement generated from the QuickBooks accounting system. Budget versus actual information is provided separately using an Excel spreadsheet. Electricity is provided through Alaska Power and Telephone Company. A visual inspection of the most recent electricity billings verifies that the city is current with all electric accounts for the water and wastewater utilities through January 2011. The city maintains small fuel storage tanks and receives fuel deliveries locally from R and R Fuel on an as needed basis. The community has no bulk storage facilities; however, due to its location on Prince of Wales Island, supplies can also be obtained from Craig if local fuel supply runs short. The utility budget shows adequate funds reserved for fuel and electricity. The governing body is fully aware that user fees do not produce sufficient income to cover operating expenses or repair and replacement (R and R) costs. It has been a general practice for the city to use other sources, such as the general fund, to subsidize utility operating expenses. The community has adequate funds for unexpected repairs and equipment replacement.

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.
No 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 Coffman Cove has adopted and actively follows the collections policy found in Title 7 of the Coffman Cove Municipal Code. Accounts more than 45 days delinquent are subject to the following collection actions: assessment of late payment fees, service charges, disconnection from water and sewer service, denial of other city services, e.g. harbor, internet, and garbage, and the account may be referred to a third party collection agency. Customers may appeal any decision resulting in a collection action to the city council at the next regular council meeting Utility bills are mailed to customers the first week of each month using an invoice or a statement depending on whether there are multiple services being billed or any past due amounts. Payments are due on the 25th of each month and become delinquent after 45 days. The city is currently using QuickBooks accounting software for their accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll. Bank reconciliations have not been performed within the last 90 days. The city uses a purchase order system for all purchases and maintains a cash disbursement system to track expenditures. Department heads complete purchase orders which are then submitted for approval. The city administrator and city clerk have approval authority for general purchases. Coffman Cove Municipal 4.04.050 provides that the purchase of supplies, materials, equipment, or contractual services for more than two thousand dollars requires prior approval of the city council. The city uses a written receipt / logbook system to record incoming funds and other transactions. The person receiving the payment provides the customer with a written receipt clearly showing the amount received and the intent of the payment. The payment is recorded in a logbook so the transaction can be entered into QuickBooks at a later time. A comparison between the logbook and QuickBooks is completed at the end of each week.

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.
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 Coffman Cove uses QuickBooks to calculate, track, and report payroll liabilities. The City makes electronic payments using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). RUBA staff visually inspected the community's last four 941s (employer's quarterly federal tax returns) and verified electronic debits. The last four quarter 941s were filed on time. The IRS and Alaska State Depaertment of Labor deem the city compliant at this time. The City Administrator authorized RUBA staff to obtain federal tax information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and employment security tax information from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (ADOLWD). Based upon information received from the IRS and ADOLWD, City of Coffman Cove is deemed compliant with employment tax filing and deposit requirements. The City has not received any derogatory correspondence from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (ADOLWD) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) within the last year.

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.
No 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 currently carries workers compensation insurance through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). The policy runs from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. The policy covers work-related accidents and occupational diseases up to the Alaska statutory limits for each occurrence. A copy of the workers compensation policy is posted in accordance with state statute in three areas easily accessible to employees. The city has a personnel policy codified in Title 3 of the Coffman Cove Municipal Code covering employment categories, personnel policies and procedures, pay, and employee benefits. The city does not have written job descriptions for all utility department positions. Coffman Cove Municipal Code 3.03.060 provides a written personnel evaluation process. Formal performance evaluations are conducted at the end of an employee's probationary period. The municipal code states that 'the performance of all employees is generally evaluated according to an ongoing six month cycle, beginning at the fiscal-year end.' In practice, employees are evaluated on an annual basis. Employees are allowed an opportunity to provide input into the evaluation process by submitting an employee self evaluation. The City has a probationary period for new hires that includes systematic orientation, job training, oversight, and performance evaluations.

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 of Coffman Cove owns and operates the water, sewer, and garbage collection utilities. The council is the formal governing body and meeting minutes verify that it is actively engaged in making decisions on behalf of the utilities. They meet the third Tuesday of each month and hold additional work sessions and special meetings if necessary. The city provides water, sewer, and septic services at the following rates: Water up to 5000 gallons = $40.00 per month Sewer = $15.00 per month Septic up to 5000 gallons = 15.00 per month Water usage over 5000 gallons and bulk water purchases are charged at $10.00 per each 1000 gallon block. Utility rates were last reviewed by the city council in October 2010. At this review, the council increased the monthly septic charge from $10.00 to $15.00. The City operates a Class 2 drinking water system. The utility operator, Ronald Rusher has the following certifications: Water Treatment 2 Exp. 12/31/12 Water Distribution P Expired 12/31/10 The city does not have an organizational chart. The city council meets at least once a month. All council meetings, work sessions and special meetings are noticed five days in advance by posting meeting information at three locations.

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.
Yes 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".
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 utility has an ongoing Village Safe Water (VSW)funded project to construct a new water source intake, 500,000 gallon water storage and complete wastewater lift station improvements. The water utility operator has the necessary level of certification to operate the water treatment system and water distribution systems. The operator's water distribution certificate expired on December 31, 2010; however, distribution systems with less than 100 service connections and serve less than 500 people are exempt from water distribution certification requirements. The Coffman Cove water distribution system currently has 75 service connections and serves 141 people. The utility operator consults with the mayor and city administrator on a regular basis and provides a written status reports monthly. The utility completes and distributes its Community Confidence Report (CCR) in compliance with State and federal regulations. The operator maintains an adequate level of supplies and some spare parts for the utility, however does not maintain an inventory control or critical spare parts list. The operator has a safety manual and preventive maintenance plan included in the utility operations manual. The utility operator, Ronald Rusher, has the following certificates: Water Treatment 2 Exp. 12/31/12 Water Distribution P Exp. 12/31/10 The backup operator, Allan Thompson, has the following certifications Water Treatment OIT Expired Water Distribution OIT Expired Confined Spaces The city council meets monthly for which an agenda is posted at several conspicuous places around Coffman Cove nine days prior to each meeting.