Quarterly Report: 2008, 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 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:
RUBA activities this quarter consisted of telephonic assistance on ordinances and codification of ordinances in their municipal code. The City sent two financial staff members to Anchorage for a three day QuickBooks training. The most recent RUBA assessment of management capacity indicators was completed on April 19, 2007. At that time, the City of Coffman Cove successfully met all essential indicators. Since then, Coffman Cove has successfully satisfied additional sustainable indicators and continues to submit supporting documentation on a quarterly basis consisting of monthly financial reports. The documents received during the last quarter, confirms that Coffman Cove still meets all essential capacity indicators.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to provide telephonic assistance as needed.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
46 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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City Council adopted the FY 08 utility budget on June 22, 2007. The utility budget has revenue projections equal to expenditures. Financial reports are submitted monthly by the Treasurer to the City Council. Reports include a handwritten balance sheet and profit and loss (P and L) statement which is compared to the annual budget. Additionally, the Treasurer provides a customer balance summary produced using customer data from QuickBooks Pro 2004. QuickBooks has been configured so general accounting, grants, and utilities are accounted for in three separate QuickBooks files. By reconfiguring the QuickBooks system to merge the three files and by entering the annual budget into QuickBooks, the labor-intensive handwritten reports could be replaced by QuickBooks-generated reports. This would greatly increase reporting efficiency. The utility is current in paying its electricity bill. The City purchases its fuel from One Stop Fuel. 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.

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 Council is actively working to enforce its utility ordinance and collection policy. Delinquent customers are first offered a payment plan. Disconnection of water service continues to be a final resort, but recent Council actions have greatly improved collections. In the past year, the Council has passed an ordinance where any citizen with a delinquent utility account will also be denied access to other city services, including internet and harbor. At the March 23, 2007 City Council meeting, the Council passed a resolution adding a finance charge based upon the State's allowable interest rate to overdue utility bills. The City Council has directed staff to enter into a contract with Ketchikan Credit Bureau (KCB) for when other collection options have failed. A contract for collection services between KCB and the City has been agreed upon. The City routinely bills its customers on the 10th of each month and bills become delinquent after 45 days. The Treasurer is currently using QuickBooks accounting software for utility billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll; however, she continues to rely on handwritten budgets and financial reports. A manual receipt system is used to record incoming funds. Funds are subsequently entered into QuickBooks. An adequate chart of accounts allows accurate tracking of expended funds through the QuickBooks system. Monthly bank reconciliations are performed and are current. The utility manager has a purchase order system in place and all purchase order requests are compared to budgeted amounts prior to approval.

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 has authorized RUBA staff to acquire state and federal tax information to verify compliance with employment and/or excise tax filing requirements. Based upon information received from the Taxpayer Advocate's Office on April 5, 2007, the City of Coffman Cove is in compliance with all federal tax deposit and reporting requirements.

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 of Coffman Cove has workers' compensation insurance provided by AML/JIA through 7/1/08. The City has posted proof of insurance in three conspicuous locations including city hall, water treatment plant and the public works shop. The community has adopted a personnel policy handbook which is required to be read by every employee. The City has an adequate written hiring procedure. Personnel files are well organized, but not all files include an I-9 form. Each employee has a probationary period, but the length of that period is not defined by policy, nor are orientation or job training duties clearly defined. The City provides ample training opportunities to staff. Administrative staff regularly attend RUBA-sponsored utility management training courses when offered; operators have been extensively trained including training in confined spaces, and two City staff members attended a RUBA-sponsored QuickBooks training in Ketchikan.

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.
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 City has adopted the necessary ordinances to give it the authority to operate. The City has not adopted an organizational chart.

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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The City of Coffman Cove operates the water utility and the City Council is very active in making and enforcing utility policy. City administrative staff are well trained in the administrative and fiscal management of the utility. The utility operator is certified at the appropriate level to operate the City's Level 2 water treatment facility. The utility operator, Gary Wilburn, has the following certificates: Wastewater Collection Exp. 12/31/07 Wastewater Treatment Exp. 12/31/07 Water Treatment 2 Exp. 12/31/08 Water Distribution 1 Exp. 12/31/09 Confined Spaces The backup operator, Allan Thompson, has the following certifications Water Treatment OIT Exp. 12/31/08 Water Distribution OIT Exp. 12/31/08 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.