Quarterly Report: 2009, October - December (Q2), Larsen Bay

Community:
Larsen Bay 
Staff:
Tammy Helms  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Larsen Bay 
Population:
83  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/13/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is supplied from two groundwater sources--gravity feed from the hydro plant, and a well as backup, and stored in a 200,000 gallon tank. A water supply line is 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 customer. All 40 homes are connected to the piped water system. A community septic 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. The city has been funded for a water treatment plant project from Village Safe Water (VSW).  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On January 7, 2009, RUBA staff traveled to Larsen Bay to assist the city in meeting the RUBA essential management indicators and the end of year reporting requirements. During the onsite visit, RUBA staff worked with the city clerk, billing clerk, mayor and various council members on a variety of tasks. The FY09 budget was entered into the QuickBooks accounting program so that a monthly budget vs. actual financial report can be presented to the council. The FY08 Certified Financial Statement, quarterly Department of Labor, federal 941, and grant reports were also completed, as well as the end of year w-2's. The city requested additional onsite assistance; a RUBA agreement and work plan to revise the current ordinances and continue training for the city and billing clerks will be drafted and presented to the mayor for his signature. It is a pleasure to report after many years of high employee and council turnover, the City of Larsen Bay has stabilized and is currently meeting all the RUBA essential indicators.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The city council has requested a RUBA assistance agreement. RUBA staff has drafted an agreement and workplan for the councils review. Once the agreement is signed RUBA staff will continue onsite visits quarterly to assist the community to meet all of the unmet management indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
13 of 27
Total Score:
40 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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City of Larsen Bay has an adopted FY09 budget. The FY09 budget has been entered in to the QuickBooks accounting system. This enables the clerk to present a budget vs actual report to the council monthly. Interfacility bills are paid quarterly to ensure accurate records. In November 2008 the city received 15,000 gallons of gas, 8,000 gallons of #1 fuel and 40,000 gallons of diesel. This will be an adequate amount of fuel throughout the winter until summer delivery. Water and sewer revenues are not sufficient to cover operating expenses; however, the city subsidizes its water and sewer utility through electric sales. A line item for the subsidy has been approved within the budget. Manager/ operator reports are given verbally 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.
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 clerk with the council's support has made it a priority to actively and consistently enforce the collection policy. The city utilizes QuickBooks for accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll. The QuickBooks system is set up properly and has been a reliable tool to keep the city's finances in order. Currently, bills are going out on a regular monthly basis. Normal procedures when purchasing are for the operator to inform the clerk of the material and price of the purchase, then the clerk creates a purchase order and allows the operator to order the material.

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
With RUBA assistance, the city has successfuly submitted the quarterly reports to the IRS on time. To date, the city has not received any non-compliance notices from the IRS or DOL.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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 Larsen Bay has a posted workers' compensation insurance policy in effect from 7/1/08 to 7/1/09 with AML/JIA. Currently the city council is reviewing a proposed personnel policy. Once a final review is completed it will be presented for adoption. The city's current hiring process is historical and is not written. Job notices are posted with the job title and description for 10 days. Interested applicants apply at the city office. There is currently no probationary period for employees. Training opportunities for staff are provided as funds allow or opportunities by other sponsors become available.

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
In the past few months the council has focused on reviewing the city's policies and supporting the clerk in her efforts to obtain more training. The current utility operator is trained but has not passed the certification test.

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
No 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.
No 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.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The remote maintenance worker for the region reports that there is a preventative maintenance plan for the existing system. The current utility operator is trained and can run the system but has not passed the certification test. The utility operator reports to the mayor or vice-mayor when there is a problem or he can foresee one. The City has been participating in the AML/JIA monthly safety program. The utility is not able to operate at the level of service that was proposed due to the inability to backwash the rapid sand filter. The utility does not meet all required drinking water regulations and is currently on the SNC list for treatment technique violations and monitoring violations for Stage One and SWTR.