Quarterly Report: 2007, July - September (Q1), Coffman Cove

Community:
Coffman Cove 
Staff:
Lawrence Blood  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Coffman Cove 
Population:
156  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
11/29/2006 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Coffman Cove operates and manages a piped water and sewer system. The city council is the policy making body for the utility. Coffman Cove uses a surface water source; a new water treatment system and storage tank supplies the piped water system. A piped sewage system was recently completed. Sixty-nine homes now have complete plumbing. The City burns refuse, hauls the ash to Thorne Bay, and bales non-combustibles. The City has a new garbage truck. They pick up garbage once a week and delivers once a week to Thorne Bay. Residents are charge $4 per can per week. Dumpsters are $32.50/month. Billing occurs monthly. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On May 23,2006 RUBA staff traveled to Coffman Cove at the request of the community to complete a management audit of city processes and financial management. While on site, RUBA staff provided City Clerk training and training on records retention. Documentation received while in the community failed to meet the essential criteria required. Since that trip, the community has reported having an improved billing practice and an increased collection rate. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The Community has requested a RUBA reassessment and will schedule a community site visit sometime this quarter. RUBA staff discussed with the community the possibility of providing additional Quickbooks training. RUBA staff will continue to provide telephonic assistance as needed.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
21 of 24
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
42 of 51

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.
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.
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 city and water/sewer budgets are adopted by the council and budget amendments are completed as necessary. The budgets are hand written and do not include net profit or revenue/expense totals. It is unclear if the utility is currently receiving enough revenues to cover operating expenses; however the City is putting money aside in a reserve account for major breaks and repairs. Monthly financial reports are provided to the city council.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
In January and February 2004, RUBA staff made several trips to the community to install QuickBooks, enter utility data and to provide program training. RUBA staff assisted in the setting up of water/sewer accounts, harbor accounts and payroll into QuickBooks. Extra effort was made in making sure all the water and sewer accounts were entered correctly. Since that time, the community has almost completely reverted back to a hand written accounting system. Budgets, financial reports, accounts payable and the cash receipt system are all done manually. During the last assessment, RUBA staff detected several data entry errors in the financial reports. The City has a written collection policy, however, disconnections for non-payment are somewhat selectively enforced. The community has a growing account receivable with over $23,000. 90-days or more past due. The community is currently looking for ways to strengthen their collections policy. The City is using QuickBooks for its accounts receivable and customers are routinely billed on a monthly basis.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
N/A The utility is current on filing tax reports.
N/A 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 uses QuickBooks to calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities. It appears that the City is current on filing their tax reports and making required tax deposits. The office manager has authorized RUBA staff to obtain federal tax information. RUBA staff is waiting for a reply from the IRS.

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
The City has a posted workers compensation insurance policy. The City has an adopted personnel policy reviewed by the city attorney. All position descriptions have been recently reviewed and updated excluding the city clerk. There does seem to be some confusion within the office concerning the clear separation of duties, in particular, the management and retention of records. The City does not strictly follow the adopted personnel evaluation process that links job description to performance evaluations. The City has personnel folders with required information including I-9, job application, and letter of acceptance. The City has a probation period of three months and performance evaluations are provided at the end of that period. The City provides training opportunities for staff 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
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 council is the policy making body for the utility and meets as required and complies with the Open Meetings Act. The projects manager and treasurer both report that the city council is interested in the operation of the water/sewer utility and requests separate financial information for the utility. The treasurer attended the Financial Utility Management class in May 2003 and owns and operates her own small business. The treasurer is trained in the operation of QuickBooks, however is uncomfortable using the program and opts to use a manual accounting system instead. The City has adequately trained utility operators and provides training as needed. The City has adopted the necessary ordinances to give it the authority to operate.

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
No 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".
No 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
The utility manager does not receive a formal O and M report from the utility operator and does not routinely 'spot check' facilities. While utility staff is safety conscious, they do not conduct routine safety meetings. The utility has not suffered any major problems due to management issues and the utility is operating at or above the level of service proposed. The operator routinely provides status reports to the utility manager. The utility has completed and distributed their CCR. The utility maintains an inventory control and critical spare parts list and is in the process of updating that list. The community currently on the SNC list for a Stage 1 violation.