Quarterly Report: 2010, July - September (Q1), Buckland

Community:
Buckland 
Staff:
Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Buckland 
Population:
457  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
11/6/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The water supply used by the City is taken from the Buckland River. It is treated with filtration and chlorination and stored in a central community storage tank. The water is then hauled to some homes by means of a light truck and small tanks. The residents are charged for this service. The community has a central washeteria, which is a combination laundromat, toilet and shower facility and provides a watering point for residents who haul their own water. The City met with VSW who coordinated the hiring of a project management firm to oversee all phases of the water/sewer project. The sewage lagoon project started last summer to be completed in 2009; currently, they are almost done connecting piping to the sewage lagoon from the Washeteria, Clinic and School. The maintenance equipment storage building is completed. The next step is the foundation for the water treatment plant and the water tank to start this fall when the barge comes in. Right now they are laying the pipe between the lift station and the sewage lagoon. Next spring they hope to do in home plumbing for 17 homes. They are 13 million short to do this for the entire community. The admnistrator is planning to apply for Community Development Block Grant funds for the new water plant. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff contacted the office a couple of times this last quarter and responded to emails regarding elections and RUBA assessment status. She reported that there has been no change in residential delinquent rates for trash and sewage haul. She hopes that most folks will get caught up during dividend time. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The administrator has asked for assistance in providing training to the council after elections and review current RUBA assessment. RUBA staff will write a letter to the new Mayor regarding the need to follow policy in order to continue to receive VSW funds for their water/sewer project.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
23 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
No 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 city did adopt a balanced realistic budget which lists all revenues and expenses for the utility making monthly financial reports in comparison to the budget submitted to council at their monthly meetings. They are receiveing enough revenue to cover their expenses, current in paying electric bills and has sufficient funds to purchase fuel as needed. The administrator reports that they still do not have funds to save for repair and replacement of their system but is receiving revenues equal to what was budgeted and the same for expenses in the monthly report she prepares for the council. She does complete budget amendments as needed.

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
The city still has very delinquent customers for the trash and sewage haul system so are not following their adopted collection policy although they do have an payable and receivable system that tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts. She still utilizes quickbooks that correctly calculates payroll and keeps personnel files and employmee compensation files up to date. Quickbooks is also utilized to track cash receipts and cash disbursements using a set chart of accounts. She does bank reconciliations timely and requires purchases to be approved prior to purchase by reviewing outstanding purchase orders and the latest financial report in comparison to her budget.

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
The city utilizes quickbooks which accurately calculate, track and report payroll tax liabilities which helps her to keep current on her deposits and reports. There is no past due tax liabilities at this time.

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.
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.
Personnel System Comments
The city has changed insurance companies to APEI and saved $13,000.00 for the same coverage. She has paid and posted the new policy. They have an approved and adopted personnel policy that was reviewed by AML and still meets all sustainable indicators as presented.

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
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 council has adopted an organizational chart that still reflects their current structure meeting as required complying with the open meetings act. They have adopted ordinances that give them the authority to operate as the policy making body of the utility. The council is still having difficulty enforcing their utility policy with the known outstanding debt owed for trash and sewage haul delinquent accounts although they do have adequately trained manager, bookkeeper and certified operator.

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.
No 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
Their main operator is certified for water treatment 1 and water distribution 1 until 12/09 but continues to attend any course offerings in Kotzebue. He is trained to utilize the preventative maintenance plan in effect by reporting this on a monthly basis to the administrator who routinely spots checks some of the facilities on a monthly basis. No know safety meetings have been held and they have not had any major problems this last quarter so they are operating at the level of service as proposed. Their CCR is completed. The city continues to be on the SNC list. As of June 2009, system has 0 to 12 months to RTC stage 1, due to RAA TTHM/HAAS MCL excedances. System needs to continue quarterly TTHM/HAAS and take monthly distribution C12 sampling. System is only on SNC list for Stage 1 due to TTHM/HAAS RRA's exceeding MCL's.