Quarterly Report: 2009, July - September (Q1), Seldovia

Community:
Seldovia 
Staff:
Tammy Helms  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
First Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Seldovia 
Population:
284  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
11/17/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from the Fish Creek Reservoir, is treated, stored in a tank, and distributed via water mains. Sewage is piped to a community septic tank for primary treatment, then discharges to an ocean outfall. 175 homes and facilities are served by the system; all homes are completely plumbed. Individual wells have been unable to produce potable water. Funds have been requested to provide water and on-site septic tanks to the households with wells, and to protect the community ground water quality. Funds have also been requested to expand the system to areas for new development. A borough-operated landfill is available.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On November 5, 2008, RUBA staff traveled to Seldovia at the City's request to meet with new City Manager Tim Dillon as well as other city staff to discuss water customer service agreements for the community. During a community tour, RUBA staff observed one home that had an outside water hose on to avoid the house water freezing. Approximately 4-5 gallons per minute of treated water was being wasted at no consequence to the customer. The group discussed the issue of customers wasting water and how having a customer agreement would give the City some leverage in dealing with the problem. RUBA staff provided several sample customer agreements for the City's use in developing one for Seldovia's water utility.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Phone and fax assistance will be provided as requested to meet the sustainable indicators in the areas of Utility Finance, Personnel System and Operation of Utility. Indicators needing attention include identifying revenues to cover operating expenses and R and R costs; adopting and follow a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation; and working with the operator to create and maintain an inventory control list and a critical spare parts list.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 26
Total Score:
51 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.
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
Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the Council at the regularly scheduled meeting. The reports are created in QuickBooks. The utility receives power from Homer Electric Association. All electricity bills are paid on time for the utility. A public fuel company runs the fuel distribution/sales. The City anticipates no fuel shortages. The water and sewer revenues are sufficient to cover operating expenses but not enough to set funds aside for a repair and replacement account. The water and sewer rates were revised in 2006 in accordance with the City's ordinance.

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
N/A 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 of Seldovia has an adopted collection policy and follows in actively. If customers do not pay within seventy five days of the billing date their water is turned off until payment is received. Customers are billed monthly. The monthly statements are on one piece of paper but are itemized separately. The City of Seldovia utilizes QuickBooks for accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll. The system is set up properly and has been a tool in keeping the City of Seldovia's finances reliably. The Chart of Accounts identifies fixed assets with in the program. The City Council implements a purchasing system that requires prior approval and a purchase order. The manager must approve orders

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
As stated previously the City of Seldovia has a QuickBooks accounting system that accurately tracks, calculates and reports payroll tax liabilities. Currently the IRS Tax Advocate has reported the City of Seldovia owes federal taxes but has a payment agreement and is current with the schedule of payments due.

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
The City of Seldovia has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect from 7/1/08 to 7/1/09. They work with AML/JIA for insurance. The City of Seldovia has an adopted personnel policy. The City of Seldovia has a 90 day probationary period for employees. Training opportunities to staff are provided as funds allow or opportunities by other sponsors come available. The City participates in the PERS program.

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 current utility operator is trained for this system as well as two alternates. All have been OIT certified. The operators will receive further training as resources allow. The City of Seldovia is historically an active policy making body that enforces set policies. The current City Clerk has been in her position for over ten years. The policy making body meets twice a month; on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

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
As stated previously the current utility operators are all currently OIT certified. The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the facility. Each month, the utility operator reports orally to the Manager to give an update on the water system along with a copy of the monthly water report sent to ADEC. The utility currently meets all required drinking water regulations. The utility operator does not currently keep a written inventory control list or a critical spare parts list although he mentally is aware of what is on hand and when items need to be reordered. The City of Seldovia has distributed a copy of the CCR to the community. The City of Seldovia works with AML/JIA to hold monthly safety meetings. They also provide a safety manual. AML/JIA provides safety material for the meetings free of cost as part of their risk management program.