Quarterly Report: 2010, April - June (Q4), Hughes

Community:
Hughes 
Staff:
 
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Hughes 
Population:
76  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/17/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
In 1968, a community water distribution system and individual household septic tanks were constructed. Initially the system worked well, and was expanded in 1973, however, the system froze during 1983 leaving only a few facilities operational. Thirty outhouses were constructed in 1984 to replace the frozen septic systems. Many Hughes residents currently haul treated water from the central watering point. Most homes still use honeybuckets and outhouses. Eleven homes on the North Side of town, plus the school, teacher's apartments, the clinic and the city/tribal offices have piped water and sceptic tanks. Several additional homes are expected to be connected this summer. Preliminary work on a new landfill site, new sewage lagoon, and water treatment improvements is also expected to be completed this year. Electricity is provided by Hughes Power and Light. There is one school in the community, attended by approximately 17 students. A local clinic is located in Hughes, tended by a health aide. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Fairbanks RUBA staff traveled to Hughes on March 30-31, 2010 to conduct a RUBA management assessment. While on site, RUBA staff provided assistance with entering the adopted utility budget into QuickBooks and with grant writing procedures. The draft assessment was presented to Hughes for review and then finalized in April. All supporting documentation is available in the Fairbanks office for review. During the quarter, RUBA staff also helped the community staff with issues concerning the FY11 Community Revenue Sharing and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT)process,  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to assist as needed and will help the utility work towards full essential and sustainable indicator compliance.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
45 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
Yes 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.
No 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
Revenue and expenses are listed in the utility budget, though some areas of the budget are out of balance because fuel reporting is completed by hand and not entered into the QuickBooks data site. Monthly financial reports are completed and presented at every council meeting, and the preparer is present during these meetings to answer any questions asked by the council. The utility is current in paying the bills. The utility has fuel on hand and, when necessary, gets fuel deliveries monthly. The utility is receiving revenue from user fees and other sources to cover the operating costs. The utility receives revenue sufficient to cover repair and replacement costs. The YTD Revenues are equal to or greater than those budgeted after adjusting fuel expenses which were not included in the QuickBooks records. The YTD expenses are above the budgeted amounts. A written managerial report is presented to the council every month, with the manager being in attendance to answer questions. According to the administrator the council is active in passing amendments and adopting them when needed. Copies of meeting minutes are available in the Fairbanks office.

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.
No 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 and follows it. The bookkeeper uses an accounts receivable system that tracks what customers owe to the city. The bookkeeper stated that past due customers usually pay after the first few warnings and that drastic measures aren't needed. The accounts payable system is in place though it tracks a limited amount of bills. The payroll system is calculated correctly using the QuickBooks program tracks revenue from the sale of washeteria tokens and other sales are entered in cash receipt books. The city has a chart of accounts in its QuickBooks program that is easy to understand. Monthly bank reconciliations are completed by the city bookkeeper. The city should adopt a purchasing policy and follow the steps outlined in it.

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.
No 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 has a balance due for a late filing of the first quarter 2010 taxes with IRS. The Alaska Department of Labor has not yet responded to RUBA staff's request for information.

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.
No 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
Fairbanks RUBA staff confirmed that the city has a notice of current workers compensation insurance coverage posted in the office; they have it supplied through AMLJIA and it is valid through July 1, 2010. The utility has a personnel policy in place and a copy of the policy is located in the Fairbanks office. The utility has written job descriptions for the different employment positions. The city conducts personnel evaluations that are based on the written job descriptions. The city has an adequate hiring process. Personnel folders for employees only hold payroll information. The utility provides a probationary period for newly hired employees that includes evaluations and training opportunities.

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
The city's ordinances identify the city of Hughes as the owner and operator of the utility. The city council meets regularly and receives reports on the utility operations. Fairbanks RUBA staff has copies of council meeting minutes on file. The city council enforces the utility policies when necessary. The utility manager is trained and the council approves the additonal training if funds are available. The bookkeeper and operators are adequately trained. The utility has the necessary ordinances to give it the authority to operate. The utility does not have an organizational chart. The policy making body meets monthly and is involved in the utility management. The city complies with all sections of the open meetings act for all meetings.

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.
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.
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.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility operators are trained and actively work towards getting the required certifications. The utility has a preventative maintenance plan. The utility does not have a safety manual or hold safety meetings. The utility has not had any problems due to management issues and operates the service at the proposed level of service. The operator provides regular verbal reports to the manager, letting the manager know what is going on at the time and what may be coming up. A copy of the msot recent Consumer Confidence Report is available in the Fairbanks office. The utility is not on the latest Significant Non-Compliance list (May 2010). The utility does not have an inventory or critical spare parts list.