RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Twin Hills


Community:

Twin Hills

RUBA:

No

Staff:

Robert Madeson

Agreement:

No

DCA Region:

Dillingham

Agreement Date:

Region:

Dillingham

Exp Date:

Govt Type(s):

Tribal Council

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

6/9/2011

Population:

77

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

11/1/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

Piped water and wastewater systems were installed in Twin Hills in 1977. Water is drawn using a submersible pump, is treated and stored in a 60,000 gallon steel tank. The gravity sewage system feeds to a disposal lagoon on the far west side of town. Approximately 22 households have piped services and complete plumbing. As of 2003 there are 7 new HUD housing units with individual wells and septic tanks. The school operates its own system. A coin-operated washeteria is available. Water, wastewater and landfill improvements are currently being studied.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

From May 13-15 RUBA staff provided onsite assistance for payroll management, utility billing, calculating utility collection rates and preparing the FY14 budget. RUBA staff met with bookkeeping staff to determine utility collection rates and to review the billing process for the water/wastewater and electric utility. RUBA staff created an Excel spreadsheet for FY13 and FY14 that calculates a monthly and year end water/wastewater collection rate for residential customers, commercial customers and an overall collection rate. RUBA staff met with the village administrator to review payroll and budgets for Twin Hills. RUBA staff customized an Excel spreadsheet showing monthly budget vs. actual for financial reporting. RUBA staff trained the village administrator on how to use the spreadsheet with QuickBooks. The spreadsheet will be used for RUBA Quarterly Reports and financial reports for the village council. RUBA staff met with the assistant bookkeeper to review billing for water/wastewater and electrical utilities. The assistant bookkeeper explained the billing process for electricity and PCE reporting.. RUBA staff provided a spreadsheet that would assist the book keeper in determining collection rates for electrical billing.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

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:

Yes

The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources sufficient to cover operating expenses and Repair & Replacement (R) costs.

No

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.

Comment:

Monthly financial reports (MFRs) comparing actual year to date revenues and expenses are included in the agenda packets for every regular meeting and referenced in the meeting minutes. According to the most recent financial statement, the utility is current with its electrical bill. According to the most recent financial statement (May 2013) revenues are $1335 lower than expected for this point in the fiscal year. The water/wastewater utility collection rate has been at 50% during the last 3 months. The water/wastewater utility is being subsidized with funds received from State Revenue Sharing and Community Revenue Sharing.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

No

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:

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.

Comment:

The utility bills in the first three days of the month. Staff uses manual ledger for utility billing. Customer invoices and payments are recorded. Invoices are entered when paid. New invoices are kept on file for unpaid bills. The clerk maintains a summary of unpaid bills. Customers who fall behind in their payments and are city employees will have their wage garnished and a payment plan worked out. Non-employee customers will not be able to purchase any fuel or propane until payments are made. The current collection rate is for the water/wastewater utility is 50%. The Village of Twin Hills is currently not enforcing collections because of the problems of maintaining consistent water/wastewater utility service. The utility bookkeeper uses QuickBooks for financial record keeping, including payroll records. The bookkeeper is proficient in QuickBooks; all payroll records are up to date through June 2013. The administrator maintains the cash receipts and keeps money locked up in a safe. The administrator writes a receipt for cash received; a check is written for each invoice and entered into a ledger at the end of the day. Invoices are filed into vendors file. When spare parts for the water system are purchased, the water operator provides a price quote to the administrator, the request is approved by the administrator, and water system operator purchases the part, and provides an invoice to the administrator. When the invoice is paid it is entered into QuickBooks. A chart of accounts is maintained and the bank statements are reconciled every month.

 

Capacity Indicator: Tax Problems

Essential Indicators:

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.

Comment:

The city uses the QuickBooks accounting program to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities. On June 19, 2013 the State of Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) deemed Twin Hills compliant through March 30, 2013. On October 17, 2013 The Taxpayer Advocate deemed Twin Hills Compliant. Twin Hills is not listed in The Small Community Tax Lien List.

 

Capacity Indicator: Personnel System

Essential Indicators:

Yes

The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.

Sustainable Indicators:

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.

Comment:

A June 28, 2013 check of the Division of Workers Compensation website confirmed that insurance is provided by Alaska National Insurance, policy number 12JWW87661 is in effect. The city's personnel policy includes an evaluation process and a written hiring process. The president performs yearly evaluation of employees. Job descriptions need to be updated. The Village of Twin Hills budgets for and provides training opportunities as they become available to staff.

 

Capacity Indicator: Organizational Management

Essential Indicators:

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.

No

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:

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.

Comment:

The entity that owns the utility is known and the entity that will operate the utility is set. The village council is the active policy making body for the utility. The utility does not enforce the current utility policy. The village administrator is sufficiently trained; the current bookkeepers have sufficient experience and also help with other clerical duties. The current water/wastewater operator is certified in Small Water Systems Untreated, Waste Water Collection, Water Distribution, and Water Treatment through December 31, 2015. The policy making body meets as required, on the third Thursday of each month and complies with the Open Meeting Act for all meetings. Copies of meeting minutes from April through June were made available and are on file.

 

Capacity Indicator: Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

No

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".

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.

Comment:

The current water/wastewater operator is trained and utilizes a preventative maintenance plan. Copies of the weekly and monthly preventive maintenance checklist are on file. The current operator is working on recertification in Small Water Systems Untreated, Waste Water Collection, Water Distribution, and Water Treatment. The utility has completed its Consumer Confidence Report and is not on the Significant Non-Compliance list. The utility is run by one person. There was a safety manual present on site, but no safety meetings are held. The utility is not operating at the level of service proposed; this due to the age of the system and the excessive emergency repairs that have been needed. The water operator staff continues to have problems with inventory due to constant repairs to an aging water/wastewater infrastructure.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA staff will continue to assist the Village of Twin Hills in updating the personal policies and procedures manual, and assist as needed. RUBA staff will continue to assist the Village of Twin Hills to improve sustainable indicators in the areas of Utility Finance, Personnel System, Organizational Management, and Operation of Utilities.