|The utility does not have a formally documented and adopted collection policy for the water utility. However, they do have regularly-followed procedures as such. The utility sends a letter to all water utility customers once a year. This letter requests a yearly voluntary donation to the water utility account for the cost of keeping the water system in compliance with DEC regulations and for water sampling. The suggested donation for residential customers is $50, while the suggested donation for business customers is $100 or more depending on estimated usage. Checks are requested to be made out to the Elfin Cove Water Utility, to delineate donations from payments being made to the community for other utilities. In FY12, the water utility estimated a 98% voluntary collection rate. In FY13, the voluntary collection rate is so far significantly lower, and thus the corporation will be sending out a second letter requesting donations. As the currently utilized system is working effectively to collect sufficient funds to run the water utility, it is recommended that the system be written into policy and adopted by the community board.
The purchasing system requires that two board members sign off on all checks prior to purchase. Purchases under $2,000 receive automatic approval for procurement by maintenance and operator staff of the community, with these two required signatures. After the purchase is completed, the community's bookkeeper closely scrutinizes all purchases and follows up on any questioned purchases. Purchases over this amount are presented to the community board for pre-approval. The bookkeeper also compares budgetted amounts with actual amounts, to ensure spending is within budgetary limits.
As the water utility is a very small self-sustaining operation at present, the community also provided information regarding the fuel utility as evidence of the community's ability to manage a utility. The fuel utility is owned and managed by the community, which has adopted relevant rules and regulations. The fuel utility follows an adopted billing and collection policy, and an aging summary evidences a 100% collection rate.
The community's treasurer uses QuickBooks to document and track accounts receivable and accounts payable. While the QuickBooks system does track which customers have paid toward the water system in accounts receivable, because the payments are by voluntary donation only, there is no tracking of individual customer collections rates. The utility is very rarely paid in cash, but when it is, these funds are sent to the bank for deposit, and both receipt and deposit of the cash is documented in QuickBooks.
The community's bookkeeper uses QuickBooks for the payroll system as well. There are five regularly paid employees of the community: two for the electric utility, two for the fuel dock, and one for both. The fuel dock operator also functions as the water operator within his regular working hours. Additional staff may be employed on a temporary basis for specific assignments and tasks.
The community conducts reconciliations on a monthly basis of all community accounts, including utility accounts. The community provided documentation from the community's bank and QuickBooks files as evidence of reconciliation for the past three months. When reconciliations are carried out, this is documented on QuickBooks and also noted in writing on statements from the bank, which are then filed and saved.
The community also provided an accounts listing, which separates the accounts into accounts receivable and accounts payable types. Each utility (such as the fuel utility and the water utility) are separated within both accounts receivable and accounts payable.|