Quarterly Report: 2012, July - September (Q1), Angoon

Community:
Angoon 
Staff:
Glen Hamburg  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Angoon 
Population:
442  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/26/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Angoon is located in Southeast Alaska on Admiralty Island and is connected via the Alaska Marine Highway. The city operates and manages a Class 2 water treatment system, a Class 1 water distribution system, and a Class 1 wastewater collection system. System classifications are determined by the State of Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Water based on the type of components found in a treatment plant and the number of connections served by water distribution and wastewater collection systems. Angoon's drinking water is derived from the Tillinghast Lake Reservoir before it is treated and the piped throughout the community. Greater than 95% of homes in the city are fully plumbed. Piped sewage is processed at a secondary treatment plant that flows to an ocean outfall. The City of Angoon also provides a garbage collection service. On a weekly basis, refuse is collected and deposited at a municipal landfill located approximately two miles from the city. Diesel-generated electrical service for Angoon is provided by the Inside Passage Electric Cooperative (IPEC). 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Angoon's city clerk, accounts receivable clerk, and planning technician each successfully completed the RUBA 32-hour Personnel Management for Rural Utilities training course in Sitka July 25-29. In addition to this training, RUBA staff held a teleconference with the city's mayor and bookkeeper to discuss the significant deficits from the close of FY11 and strategies for ensuring that the FY12 project projections can be achieved. RUBA staff assisted the bookkeeper in completing its FY11 certified financial statement in order to receive approximately $150,000 in Community Revenue Sharing Funds this past quarter. Further, RUBA staff provided the city with information on how to update its personnel policy, how to fill a city council seat when a member of the governing body resigns, and the procedures for filing a local option petition. Finally, RUBA staff discussed the city's water testing service payments with the accounts receivable and helped to establish a repayment plan on past testing bills with Admiralty Environmental, LLC. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff continues to offer assistance to community in managing its finances in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of sanitation services in Angoon. In the coming quarter, RUBA staff will again offer to provide on-site financial management training to the city council and assistance developing and enforcing effective utility bill and sales tax collections policies.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
20 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
38 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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
The City of Angoon adopted its FY12 budget by non-code ordinance on June 23, 2011. Both budgets appropriately separate the revenues and expenditures for city's various departments and enterprises. The budget seeks to address the city's annual deficits with a 5% cut to administration and finance expenses, a 7% cut to the water utility budget (primarily due to a reduction in water testing costs and electricity needs), and a 40% cut to the solid waste budget with the elimination of what appears to be an employees position. On the supply side, the city plans to more than double its sales tax revenue and increase enterprise revenue by 18%. RUBA staff has not been able to contact either the bookkeeper or city officials since the adoption of this budget to determine whether these figures are realistic. However, the city has not fully enforced its sales tax or utility bill payment policies in previous years and any improvement in these areas could translate into increased revenue. Utility bill collections in Angoon continue to be a concern. The city's bookkeeper recently reported to RUBA staff that as few as 30% of utility customers pay their monthly bills on time and in full. Admiralty Environmental, LLC, a water testing company based in Juneau, contacted RUBA staff in September reporting that the City of Angoon had not paid its water testing bill in more than ninety days. Considering these financial challenges, the utility's long-term sustainability is in question. Nonetheless, the city has continues maintain that it has a financial plan to purchase diesel fuel as necessary and to pay its water/wastewater electric bills.

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
Title 13 of the Angoon Municipal Code (AMC) outlines the city's utility bill collection policy. According to that policy, bills are to be sent out by the tenth day of each month. Bills are considered delinquent if payment is not received by the last day of that month. Customers can pay their bills by mail, in person at city hall, or through scheduled credit card payments. Customers who pay by mail appropriate receipts with the following month's statement. Additionally, city employees have the option of voluntarily having their utility payments automatically deducted from their paycheck. Title 13 of the AMC also provides a clear warning, disconnection, and repayment plan for delinquent customers, though the city continues to struggle with enforcing these policies. Indeed, the city has taken some action and is attempting to follow the provisions contained in its utility ordinance and is considering installing curb stops in order to discontinue service to delinquent utility customers. Water, sewer, and garbage service rates in Angoon are charged according to a detailed item price list with various customer categories. Generally, those categories consist of residential, elderly, business, and public facility classes. Each class pays a particular flat rate for the three utility services together as outlined in the utility's price list. Utility bills include the customer's name and address, the dates of service provided, the amount due, and any unpaid balance carried forward from previous months. When customers pay their bill, they receive a numbered receipt from the bookkeeper's receipt book which details the form of payment, the date the payment was received, who it was received by, and what the payment was for. All payments are then entered into the QuickBooks accounting system which is used to track utility customers and maintain both the accounts receivable and accounts payable systems. Purchases are requested with a standardized, numbered purchase request form. These forms must be reviewed and approved by the mayor and matched with a separate purchase order record kept by the bookkeeper. The purchase order record lists the particular order number, the date, who requested the purchase, what the purchase was for, and whether it was approved. All purchases are matched to the appropriate city department and supplier using a simple four- or five-digit code. The city also utilizes a standardized set of timesheets which identify the all the necessary employee information, the funding department, any annual or sick leave used, and leave balances. The timesheets must be signed by the employee and the supervisor at the end of each time period. Additionally, there are formal, written leave application request, payroll advance request, and check request forms that must be completed by city employees. The bookkeeper reconciles utility bank accounts each month and keeps record of all bank statements in a secure, organized filing cabinet.

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's bookkeeper uses QuickBooks to calculate, track, and report its payroll tax liabilities. The Internal Revenue Service's taxpayer Advocacy Office has confirmed that Angoon is current in its federal tax reports and filings and the IRS has no liens against the city as of September 2011. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development confirmed on September 8, 2011 that all state tax payments are current as well.

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.
No 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.
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 Angoon has a workers' compensation insurance policy with the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA) valid through June 30, 2012 and covers work-related accidents and occupational diseases up to the Alaska statutory limits for each occurrence. Proof of coverage is posted in three areas including City Hall, the city shop, and the water treatment facility. Personnel folders are well-organized and contain all necessary INS forms, IRS forms, acceptance letters, and records of any disciplinary Actions. However, the city continues to work with AMLJIA to adopt a personnel policy for all city employees. Training opportunities are provided to city staff as funding allows. Indeed, the city clerk, accounts receivable clerk, and planning technician have all travelled to various RUBA trainings in the past several months.

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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No 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 does not fully enforce the utility bill collections policy set forth under Title 13 of the Angoon Municipal Code (AMC). City officials do, however, claim to be exploring the possibility of installing curb stops in order to discontinue service to non-paying utility customers. The city council meets on the third Tuesday of each month as required by the AMC. In order to faithfully comply with Alaska's Open Meetings Act, the city clerk posts notices for these meetings at least twenty-four hours in advance in three public places. In the event that reasonable public notice hasn't been given prior to a public meeting, RUBA staff has worked with city officials to reschedule. The utility is managed by the city's mayor, who has attended city council trainings and is versed in the general operations of the city's utility systems. The city's bookkeeper undertook the RUBA 'Becoming a QuickBooks Power User - Level One' course in November of 2008 and successfully completed a QuickBooks Premier Edition 2011 Advanced Level training program in December of 2010. The city also employees an accounts receivable clerk who assists the bookkeeper. This accounts receivable clerk completed the RUBA 32-hour Elected Officials UTM course in March and a 24-hour introductory QuickBooks class in April. She and Angoon's city clerk and planning technician also attended the RUBA 32-hour Personnel Management for Rural Utilities training in Sitka July 25-29. The city of Angoon employs two utility operators, John Silva and Jeremy Martin. While neither operator currently has the required level of certification necessary to operate the water treatment, water distribution, or wastewater collection systems, both operators continue to receive technical guidance from utility support engineers with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. Jeremy Martin has also undertaken Class 2 water treatment training.

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.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility's newest operator, Jeremy Martin, has shown that he is actively working towards necessary certification by attending a week-long Level 2 water treatment course in Juneau and sitting the Level 1 certification exam in February. That operator has also worked closely with one of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC)'s utility support engineers to become proficient in the safe, proper operation of Angoon's utility systems. The city's water utility nonetheless remains on the EPA's Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list for its continued high levels of disinfectant by-products (DBPs). In order to be removed from the list, the utility must not have any DBP violations for one quarter and must complete one round of valid lead and copper samples. The State of Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Environmental Health states that Angoon's water treatment plant may require further upgrades in order to address these elevated DBP levels, though a final plan for such upgrades has not been made. The water treatment facility was recently upgraded from a Class 1 system to a Class 2 system with the addition of new facility components. During that upgrade, the utility was able to secure a collection of critical spare parts that are kept on hand at the facility. These parts were recently itemized in a critical spare parts list with the help of the ANTHC utility support engineer. The operators, however, do not currently maintain a full inventory control list. A safety manual is available on site and safety meetings are held at least once a month with the utility operators and utility manager (the city's mayor). Records of such meetings are recorded in a safety meeting log maintained by the utility manager.