Quarterly Report: 2012, January - March (Q3), Deering

Community:
Deering 
Staff:
Georgianna Phillips  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Deering 
Population:
133  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/1/2012 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Deering operates the piped sewer and water haul system, as well as a central washeteria. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. Water is derived from the Inmachuk River; it is treated and pumped to a 400,000-gallon insulated storage tank. Residents pay to have water delivered to their homes. The city has purchased additional equipment to facilitate the delivery of water in an efficient manner. The sewage system is a vacuum system that is piped to a lagoon. The water treatment plant, and sewage collection lines have been upgraded and are completed. The existing infiltration gallery has also been upgraded and these improvements support the existing water haul and vacuum sewer system. An additional water storage tank was installed in 2006 and lines upgraded from the tanks to the water treatment plant. The City has a current DEC permit for the sewage lagoon. DEC has requested updates to reflect design changes made during construction. For future installation of water and sewer upgrades, the final draft feasibility study was given to council members for review. VSW is also concerned with the appearance of a cave-in in the Sewage Lagoon and will look at the study for recommendations.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff traveled to Deering and assisted the administrator with correcting entries in QuickBooks, reviewing various accounts for possible amendments after completion of entries. RUBA staff well also provide the city with an code book which encompasses their current ordinances as well as updates for the council to review and/or adopt. RUBA staff was able to assist the city owned electric company with the completion and filing of the PCE reports for FY09, FY10 and FY11 to become compliant with reports. RUBA staff was able to assist in setting up accounts and price lists to allow for more accurate financial reports. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to assist the city with the updating of the city code and to complete any budget amendments for the current fiscal year. RUBA staff will assist the city administrator in order to complete financials so that an update of their RUBA assessment can be completed. The city owned electric company is now in the process of advertizing for a new manager/administrator to train before the current manager retires in June. RUBA staff will monitor the progress.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
24 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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city is currently in assisted billing with ARUC. The administrator has updated QuickBook and is completing the entries. It is expected that a profit and loss statement should be accurately produced by mid-April. A review of financial statements does indicate that the city should be close to being on budget for the fiscal year. The administrator is able to report what the balance in the bank is and what bills are due.

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 utility has adopted a collection policy through ARUC/ANTHC as they are currently on Assisted billing for their sewer and do notifiy customers of past due bills. Disconnection notices are being sent to the customers. The City is on assisted billing with ARUC/ANTHC. The council has indicated interest in possibly joining ARUC/ANTHC in the near future. The customers are billed for water on a regular basis by using QuickBooks. Currently ARUC bills for the Sewer Utility and the City does the Water and Garbage. Since the City makes deliveries by the gallon no method of billing has been worked out that would correctly bill the customers. The city uses QuickBooks for accounts payable, payroll, cash receipts and cash disbursement that records incoming money and how it was spent. They use their budget as the chart of accounts reconciling their transactions monthly. The city has an purchasing system that require approval prior to purchase to budgeted amounts.

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.
No 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 to accurately calculate, track and report payroll tax liabilities. Per completed tax authorization form, they are current in filing tax reports, making deposits and have no lien 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 renewed its insurance. The city has adopted a personnel policy that has been reviewed by AML, along with adequate job descriptions. The policies have an adequate hiring process and a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation and job training but no known evaluations were found on file as well as letter of acceptance. Currently the City employees an Administrator and Water Treatment Plant operators.

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.
No 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.
No 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 is the known entity who oversees the utility who adopted ordinances to give it authority with an organizational chart that reflects the current structure. When they meet, they comply with the open meetings act which includes posting the meeting notices at three public places at least five days in advance. Many of the councilmembers also serve on other boards throughout the region and it is at times difficult to have a quorum at certain times of the year. The city has hired a two new operators, both of whom have previously been employed for the city but are not current in their certification. Both will attend training/certification as soon as a class is offered.

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.
Yes The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes 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
The City of Deering is on the SNC list for high DBP's but is doing well on the monitoring. VSW has reported studying the source water in preparation for designing a new treatment system, no new information has yet been made available. The administrator spot checks the employees and facility to ensure that maintenance/work is being completed. The administrator receives a report from the operator who assures that the inventory and critical spare parts list is maintained. The city has a safety manual and the administrator discusses with the operator any safety issues that may have arisen.