Quarterly Report: 2014, July - September (Q1), Larsen Bay

Community:
Larsen Bay 
Staff:
Jedediah Smith  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Larsen Bay 
Population:
89  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/10/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is supplied from two sources, a reservoir and a well that supplies a 200,000 gallon tank. The well is classified as a groundwater under the direct influence of surface water. A water supply line is also connected to the penstock of the hydroelectric plant and used a majority of the time to reduce utility expenses to both the service plant and the customers. All 40 homes are connected to the piped water system. A community wastewater tank with an outfall line serves these homes, and the majority of them are fully plumbed. Weekly refuse collection services are provided. The community incinerator is currently unusable and all refuse is deposited at the landfill site. A water treatment plant project from Village Safe Water (VSW) is complete.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On August 6, RUBA staff traveled to the community of Larsen Bay on Kodiak Island to meet with city officials, assist with compiling information for the FY12 and FY13 Certified Financial Statements, and assist the mayor with writing the proposed FY14 budget. Second class cities are required by law to file a certified financial statement for the fiscal year. Further, an accurate certified financial statement also provides better information when writing the following years budget. RUBA staff encouraged officials to consider saving a portion of annual revenues for a repair and replacement fund for the water plant as well as for upcoming expenditures. RUBA staff also assisted the city clerk with filing the 941 employment tax forms for the first and second quarter of 2013, as well as assisted in filing the electronic payment for the remaining employment tax liability for the second quarter of 2013. On August 15, Anchorage LGS staff sent the Larsen Bay city clerk an updated copy of the declaration of candidacy and the candidate petition, both of which are required by local code, for the upcoming municipal election. The city council is the policy making body for the water and wastewater utility. On September 3, the Larsen Bay utility clerk contacted RUBA staff regarding the city's power cost equalization rate. The clerk was having trouble printing accurate invoices that correctly calculated the appropriate PCE rate. The city uses a portion of the PCE reimbursement to subsidize the water and wastewater utility. RUBA staff troubleshot the problem with the clerk over the phone utilizing a copy of the Excel spreadsheet the clerk emailed. The problem was resolved and RUBA staff encouraged the clerk to call if she had more questions.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The RUBA assessment for Larsen Bay has expired. Conducting a new assessment in November is in the newly assigned LGS's workplan for the quarter. This will require an on-site visit. RUBA staff must also complete verification between the entity name and the federal EIN number on filings, possibly dating back to 2009. RUBA staff will also assist the city clerk with questions leading up to and following the municipal election.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
23 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
23 of 27
Total Score:
46 of 53

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.
No 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
RUBA staff assisted the mayor in preparing the FY14 budget, which was approved on August 22, 2013. The budget lists $47,000 in generated revenue from the water utility. Expenditures from the water utility enterprise are listed at only $27,550. The utility has an adequate fuel supply. The city is not putting money into a repair and replacement account. Monthly financial report are not being submitted to the council in a regular manner. A monthly manager's report is verbally submitted to the council.

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.
No 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 staff is in the process of providing copies of the original ordinances to be codified. The city uses QuickBooks Pro 2012 and reports are made utilizing the program. The city accounts receivable report shows all transactions for the water and wastewater utility for all customers. The city accounts payable report shows no accounts to be paid currently. When the city receives cash, the customer is offered a receipt and the data is then entered into QuickBooks following the transaction with the ledger/receipt number. Every Monday, the city deposits the cash into the bank account. A chart of accounts lists all current assets, liabilities, and equities for the City of Larsen Bay. Monthly bank reconciliations are completed. All purchases are routed from the employee to the mayor for approval, then to the clerk for processing.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No The utility is current on filing tax reports.
No 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 IRS alerted RUBA staff it was unable to process the signed request for tax authorization due to a discrepancy with the entity name and federal EIN number. RUBA staff verified the request matched the 06/2013 filing, yet the IRS agent would not process the form. Until the matter is resolved, the community will be marked 'not compliant' even though RUBA staff verified the city submitted the second quarter filing. 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.

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 an insurance policy with Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance. The policy is posted as required. A copy of the personnel policies was provided that has sample job descriptions, evaluation, and hiring processes. The probationary period for employment is 30 days. Employee personnel files are kept in a locked file cabinet in the city clerk's office. These files each contain an I-9, job application, and all appropriate employee and employer correspondence.

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 of Larsen Bay is the owner/operator of the water and wastewater utility. The ordinances are updated as needed and those ordinances are followed in regards to collection policies. The primary operator is part-time as he is both the water/wastewater and electrical operator; he is scheduled to be at the pumphouse for two weeks and other operators cover the remaining weeks in a month. The city clerk oversees all the bookkeeping for the utility; the billing clerk receives and enters all incoming transactions into QuickBooks. The organizational chart is in the personnel policy manual and includes all employees; the city clerk and billings clerk are listed in a separate branch under the mayor. The organizational chart does reference Title 29 and regulatory agencies in separate branches above 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.
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.
No 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
There is an operations and maintenance manual for the existing pumphouse. The new pumphouse is complete and a new operations and maintenance manual will be provided. The city has a monthly safety meeting with the water/wastewater/electric operators. There have been no major outages. The water utility is operating at a level proposed. The water utility is subsidized by the electric utility and the city owned grocery store. The last CCR on file is the 2009 CCR. The water utility is not on the July 2013 SNC list. The city does not have an inventory control list as there is a new plant that has been completed, is operational and awaiting conveyance. There is no record of a critical spare parts list with the city.