Quarterly Report: 2009, April - June (Q4), Cold Bay

Community:
Cold Bay 
Staff:
Julie Dirks  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Cold Bay 
Population:
72  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/10/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City provided services include piped water, piped sewer, landfill, health clinic, dock, fire/EMS/ambulance and a library. The city municipal building includes a fitness center. The new community center provides space for training, meetings, or community presentations from outside agencies. Currently, water is supplied by one well and stored in a 213,000-gallon tank. The city has applied for funding to dig a second well. The majority of residents are connected to the piped water and sewer system. A few homes have individual wells and septic systems. The sewage treatment plant can process up to 45,000 gallons a day. Residents transport their own refuse to the landfill located 1.5 miles north of the city. A feasibility study is being done to determine whether to clean up or replace the landfill. G and K, Inc. provides electricity to the community. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The City Administrator has promptly provided requested up-dated information. The City of Cold Bay continues to meet all essential capacity indicators and many of the sustainable indicators. Throughout the quarter the City Administrator has asked for advice and technical assistance on small matters related to QuickBooks, personnel management, and other local government areas. A request for up-dated financial information was submitted to the City on 6/18/09.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff has and will continue to provide assistance as requested by phone, fax, IM, and email.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
49 of 54

Finances

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.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The FY09 Budget was amended by the City Council on January 20, 2009. The revised budget increases water revenue from $72,000 to $77,700. Water utility expenses were decreased from $69,516 to $55,039.93. Sewer plant revenue was not amended. Sewer revenue and expenses remained as originally budgeted. Monthly financial reports to the city council include the budget and year to date expense and revenue information combined in one report, and copies of the most recent bank account statements. The approved FY 09 operating budget and certified financial statement includes all expenses broken out by function. The profit and loss statement dated 2/28/09 does not break out utility personnel costs by function.

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
Financial accounting for all city operations is conducted using QuickBooks Pro 2009. Billing occurs monthly with a statement being mailed to each customer that includes all city charges. Reports are produced using QuickBooks for various accounting functions including accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, cash receipt and cash disbursement. Sections 100, 110, and 120 of Chapter 36 of the Cold Bay Code of Ordinances define rules for utility rates and collections; the utility enjoys a high collection rate, with little outstanding debt. Cold Bay continues to hold a high collection rate as of February 28, 2009.

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.
Yes 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
Tax deposits are made electronically each pay period by the city clerk. An IRS response to a request for tax information dated September 26, 2008 confirmed that the city continues to be in compliance and has no federal tax liabilities at this time. IRS 941 for the 4th quarter, 2008 were received in April, 2009 along with the Alaska Department of Labor ESC quarterly report for the quarter ending December 31, 2008.

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.
Yes 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
Personnel policies and procedures are found under a section by that name in the Cold Bay Policy Manual. The hiring process, probationary periods, performance evaluations, and other personnel issues are covered in detail, however, there were no examples of written employee evaluations available for inspection by RUBA staff at the time of the assessment. During a recent telephone conversation with the clerk, she reports that evaluations are now being completed, however, RUBA has not received any documentation. The City has worker's comp coverage with the Alaska Municpal League Joint Insurance Program that is effective to June 30, 2009. Renewal is automatic and will cover July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

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 policy making body meets regularly and reviews the utility services at each meeting. All meetings are posted as required. A verbal report is required from the utility manager at each meeting. City staff is proficient and council members show a high level of interest and concern for utility management issues. With the help of city staff, a draft organizational chart showing the current structure was created, but it has not been adopted by the city council.

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.
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".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The City of Cold Bay has three operators with water certification current to 12/09 and wastewater certification to 12/10. There are comprehensive operations and maintenance manuals for both water and sewer utilities, that include chapters on a safety program, safety equipment, procedures, and safety meeting outlines, however city staff knew of no safety meetings having been conducted. Lists for inventory control or critical spare parts are not known to exist. In September, 2008 the RMW for Cold Bay stated that while water operator staffing is stable, a second operator should be attend operator certification training. The City Administrator completed UTM - Organizational Management, December 1-5, 2008.