RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: False Pass


Community:

False Pass

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Glen Hamburg

Agreement:

Yes

DCA Region:

Anchorage

Agreement Date:

5/9/2012

Region:

Aleutians

Exp Date:

5/9/2014

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Aleutians East Borough

Assessment Date:

3/9/2011

Population:

37

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

11/27/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

City provided services include piped water, electric, refuse collection, and landfill. Water is derived from a nearby spring and reservoir and is treated and stored in two 60,000-gallon tanks. Most homes are connected to the piped water system. Over 80 percent of the homes are fully plumbed. Most residents have individual wastewater tanks, however many are experiencing leachfield failure. While not currently operating, seasonal wastewater from seafood processing flows directly into an outfall line. A community-wide wastewater system is designed and funding for construction is being researched.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

This quarter, Anchorage RUBA staff received a question from the city clerk regarding whether a city entity could own and operate an enterprise service, which might otherwise compete with the private sector. RUBA staff reassured the clerk that many communities in rural Alaska have a municipally operated water, wastewater and fuel enterprises, often because there is no other entity willing or able to conduct such business. On September 10, Anchorage RUBA staff received a IRS Authorization to Request Federal Tax Information form signed for the community's RUBA Assessment and requested the last three monthly financial reports for the water utility that have been approved by the council.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The FY14 budget lists the water utility income at $10,8520. The utility expenses total $14,800. The city is subsidizing many of its services with revenue from Alcohol Tax, Bed Tax, Sales Tax and a Raw Fish Tax, as well as state revenue sharing. Monthly financial statements are in budget versus actual format and are submitted to the council. The city purchases heating fuel from Peter Pan Seafoods on an as needed basis. The city has a repair and replacement line item and a separate bank account in which funds are deposited. The utility manager is also the operator and submits maintenance reports to the council as documented in meeting minutes.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The council has adopted Title VI: Utilities and Public Facilities/Equipment, Chapter 36: Water and Sewer in the code of ordinances. This code has a provision for the city to adopt and enforce regulations and provisions pertaining to the water utility. A sample bill to a water and wastewater utility customer was received that shows a monthly water and landfill service charge to the customer. The city utilizes QuickBooks for all financial accounting. The accounts receivable report lists all accounts owed to the city. There is an issue of reconciliation of past due billings that may or may not have been paid. The clerk has requested and received assistance from the RUBA QuickBooks consultant on how to enter prepay amounts as there was a time that the previous clerk did not send out bills. The accounts payable report shows no considerable amount to be paid, with the exception of a heavy equipment part that the city is planning to purchase. All cash received is kept in a safe within the city office and deposited to the bank on a weekly basis. The city issues receipts to each customer upon payment. All payroll is done with QuickBooks and the clerk is experienced with the QuickBooks program. The chart of accounts has all bank accounts, assets, liabilities, equities, income, and expenses listed. Monthly bank reconciliations are done utilizing bank statements and QuickBooks. When purchases are needed that are not listed on the budget, the clerk reviews the budget and requests purchasing authorization from the mayor.

 

Capacity Indicator: Tax Problems

Essential Indicators:

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.

Comment:

The IRS report dated September 10, 2013 shows that the city is compliant with required federal tax deposits and filing and has no record of a lien. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Employment Security Divisions report from September 23, 2013 states that the city is in compliance with state tax filing and deposits and is not on the July-August 2013 Lien Watch.

 

Capacity Indicator: Personnel System

Essential Indicators:

Yes

The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.

Sustainable Indicators:

Yes

The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.

Yes

The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions.

Yes

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.

Comment:

The City of False Pass is insured by Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA) for workers compensation insurance as of September 17, 2013. The employee job descriptions, evaluation process and hiring process are located in the code of ordinances. The employee files are locked in the mayor's office. There is a probationary period of 90 days for new employees. The city offers training to employees as needed and when funding is available.

 

Capacity Indicator: Organizational Management

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The entity that owns the utility is the City of False Pass as documented in Title IV in the Code of Ordinances. The policy making body is False Pass City Council as stated in the False Pass Code of Ordinances. The city has adopted an organizational chart. The city council meets every third Tuesday of each month. The city posts meeting notices five days prior to the meeting date with the place, time, and type of meeting.

 

Capacity Indicator: Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators:

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:

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".

Yes

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.

Comment:

The current water operator is the utility manager and is trained in the water operation and is currently scheduling to take the test with Department of Environmental Conservation Water Division program. The Operations and Maintenance Manual submitted by the plant engineering firm in 2004 is kept in the current water treatment plant. The city participates in the AMLJIA safety meetings and has adopted a resolution to continue participation in safety meeting teleconferences. The utility manager is also the operator and provides a monthly manager's report for all city facilities. There have not been any major outages due to management issues in the past three years. A copy of the CCR was distributed as required. The water treatment plant was not listed on the April 2013 Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list. There is a critical spare parts for the utility but no inventory control list. The operator is working on completing the equipment list and the critical spare parts list is being updated.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA staff will continue to assist the community as requested. Newly assigned RUBA staff is scheduled to begin work Dec.2, 2013.