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

Community:
Hughes 
Staff:
Jeffrey Congdon  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Hughes 
Population:
78  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/1/2012 
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. Fourteen homes on the North Side of town, plus the school, teacher's apartments, the clinic and the city/tribal offices have piped water and wastewater. There is a current construction project connecting water and sewer to other homes in the community. Preliminary work on a new landfill site, new sewage lagoon, and water treatment improvements was also accomplished 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:
Hughes bookkeeping staff attended a Financial Management class for rural utility managers in Fairbanks this quarter. Fairbanks RUBA staff requested financial documents for the quarterly RUBA assessment on March 20. As of April 8, RUBA staff has not received financial information from Hughes. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to assist as needed and will help the utility work towards continuing to meet full essential indicataors, and will also work towards meeting the sustainable indicators. Fairbanks staff plans on doing a RUBA assessment in Hughes late this quarter.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
24 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
17 of 27
Total Score:
41 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.
No Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No 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.
No 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
RUBA staff have not received financial information from Hughes for this quarter.

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 are not 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. Revenue from the sale of washateria tokens and other sales are entered in cash receipt books. The city has a chart of accounts in their QuickBooks program that is easy to understand. Monthly bank reconciliations are completed by the city bookkeeper. RUBA staff suggests that the city 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.
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
Hughes is deemed compliant by the Department of Labor. There are no current liens reported against Hughes. The IRS deems Hughes compliant as of March 21.

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 currently in effect. 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 include 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. The city council enforces the utility policies when necessary. The utility manager is trained and the council approves the additional 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 involved in training 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 most recent Consumer Confidence Report is available in the Fairbanks office. The utility is not on the latest Significant Non-Compliance list (April 2011). The utility does not have an inventory or critical spare parts list.