Quarterly Report: 2009, October - December (Q2), Pelican

Community:
Pelican 
Staff:
Lawrence Blood  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
First Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Pelican 
Population:
110  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/13/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Pelican is located on the northwest coast of Chichagof Island on Lisianski Inlet. Most of the community is built on pilings over the tidelands. Pelican has a maritime climate characterized by cool summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures range from 51 to 62; winter temperatures range 21 to 39. The City recently acquired the piped water system from Pelican Seafoods, A subsidiary of the Kake Tribal Corporation. City water is derived from a dam and reservoir system on Pelican Creek, and is treated with chlorine. 58 of 75 residences are connected to the piped system. The City completed a piped sewage system with ocean outfall in 1989; about 75% of homes are connected to it. The system uses four 10,000-gallon septic tanks and the City hires a disposal truck from Juneau to pump sludge about four times a year. The City provides garbage collection services, recycling, and incinerates the refuse at the landfill. Electricity is provided by Pelican Utility Company.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The City was provided a travel and lodging scholarship for a city staff member to attend a RUBA program sponsored QuickBooks class held in Sitka October 17-21, 2008. The community continues to submit supporting documentation on a quarterly basis consisting of monthly financial reports. The documents received during the last quarter, confirms that Pelican still successfully meets all essential capacity indicators.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to provide assistance as requested.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
48 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
The City of Pelican is operating with a balanced and realistic FY09 budget. The water, sewer, and garbage budgets are part of the overall city budget. All utility revenues and expenses are listed in the utility portion of the budget. Both City and utility expenses and revenues are in line with budgeted projections. User fees do not produce sufficient income to cover operating expenses or repair and replacement (R and R) cost. Other sources, such as the general fund, are used to subsidize utility operating expenses and savings are used for unexpected repairs. The City engages the auditing firm Altman, Rogers and Co. on an annual basis. The Council is provided with monthly financial reports including a monthly profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and budget vs. actual profit and loss. The community has a bulk fuel storage facility which is owned by Pelican Seafoods, a subdivision of Kake Tribal Corporation. The city has adequate funds available and purchases fuel as needed from Pelican Seafoods, which maintains a sufficient level of fuel reserves to accommodate the community's need.

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 of Pelican has adopted and actively follows a collections policy. Utility bills are distributed on a monthly basis. The account receivables system documents customer payments and reports past due accounts with corresponding amounts. The City actively pursues delinquent utility accounts. The City is currently using QuickBooks Pro for their accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll. The City Clerk and the Assistant City Clerk are both proficient in QuickBooks. The Mayor recently attended a RUBA sponsored QuickBooks class. The City maintains a written receipt system to record incoming funds and other transactions as a backup for the QuickBooks system. The City Clerk completes monthly bank reconciliations. The City uses a purchase order system for all purchases and maintains a cash disbursement system to track expenditures. The City provides water utility services to the local population for the following fees: Residential (unmetered) = $5.60 per month Commercial = $10.40 per month There are currently no fees for sewer use and the water rate is one of the lowest in Southeast Alaska.

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.
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 City of Pelican uses QuickBooks Pro to calculate, track, and report payroll liabilities. The City of Pelican is current with tax reports and tax deposits. The city uses direct deposit for federal payroll tax payments and RUBA staff visually inspected the city's last four quarters of 941 Federal Tax Returns. The city has not received any DOL letters within the past year, however did receive an IRS letter because their deposit was applied to the wrong quarter. The situation with the IRS has since been resolved.

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.
No 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 currently carries workers compensation insurance through AML/JIA. The policy runs from 07/01/08 through 06/30/09. The policy covers work-related accidents and occupational diseases up to the Alaska statutory limits for each occurrence. A copy of the workers compensation policy is posted in accordance with state statute at the following locations: City Hall, City Shop, and the Community Library. Pelican has an implemented personnel policy. The City has written job descriptions for the utility department; however, they have not been updated for several years. The city is lacking in adequate job descriptions for all other municipal positions. The City has a formal evaluation process only for new hires and the evaluations are not necessarily tied to the job description. A satisfactory hiring process is documented in the City's municipal code. There are personnel folders for every municipal employee which contain recommended documentation including an I-9 and job application. The City only uses letters of acceptance for utility positions. The City has a probationary period for new hires that includes systematic orientation, job training, oversight, and performance evaluations. The City provides training opportunities as needed.

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 meets monthly, complies with open meeting requirements and is active in policy making for the utility. The City operates a small level T (treated) drinking water system. The City has two operators working on the utility systems who have the necessary level of certification. The operators have OIT level certifications, which is appropriate given the classification of the facility. The utility operator John Hafendorfer has the following certificates: Water Treatment OIT Exp. 12/31/08 Water Distribution OIT Exp. 12/31/08 The utility operator Allen Stewart has the following certificates: Water Treatment OIT Exp. 12/31/09 Wastewater Collection 1 Exp. 12/31/09 Water Distribution OIT Exp. 12/31/09 The utility has adopted an organizational chart which is included in their utility business plan.

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".
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 water utility operators have achieved the necessary certification to operate the utility and are considering further training. The current water system is experiencing some difficulties due to the age of the system, but is operating at the proposed level of service. Buildings attached to the water system need to run water constantly during the winter months so the main line will not freeze. Most of the City is served from a single water pipe. It is common to walk down the boardwalk and hear and see treated, unused water pouring from underneath city structures. The City recently had a major break in the water distribution system; however, the city had the financial resources to fix the problem without a significant interruption in service. The wastewater system is also experiencing problems due to the age of the system, types of pumps in the system, and the available power supply. The community is currently in the construction phase for upgrades to its water and wastewater systems which will solve many of the ongoing problems. The utility operators consult with the Mayor on a regular basis and provide verbal status reports monthly. The Mayor, who also serves as the utility manager does visit the facilities and conducts random spot checks for maintenance items. The utility completes and distributes its Community Confidence Report (CCR) in compliance with State and federal regulations. During the 2006 calendar year, the utility received monitoring violations from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for failure to submit samples for Arsenic and Total Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic Acids. The utility was given until May 1, 2007 to return to compliance by submitting the required samples and avoid possible enforcement action. As of May 7, 2007 the utility is on the Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list for failure to monitor Total Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic Acids (TTHM/HAA5) as required by the Stage 1 Disinfectant/Disinfection By-Product Rule. The system must collect one set of annual TTHM/HAA5 samples. The earliest the utility could come off the Significant Non-Compliance list is 3rd Quarter 2008. The operator maintains an adequate level of supplies and some spare parts for the utility, however does not maintain an inventory control or critical spare parts list. The operators have a safety manual and preventive maintenance plan for the sanitation facilities. These are included in the utility operations manual. The operators meet daily and conduct regular safety meetings on a monthly basis which is annotated in a safety log recording the date, topics discussed, and the personnel present at the meeting. In addition to the safety meetings, the operators routinely discuss potential risks and safety procedures before starting a job.