Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), Angoon

Community:
Angoon 
Staff:
Glen Hamburg  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Angoon 
Population:
442  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/4/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Angoon is located in Southeast Alaska on Admiralty Island and is connected via the Alaska Marine Highway. The city operates and manages a Class 2 water treatment system, a Class 1 water distribution system, and a Class 1 wastewater collection system. System classifications are determined by the State of Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Water based on the type of components found in a treatment plant and the number of connections served by water distribution and wastewater collection systems. Angoon's drinking water is derived from the Tillinghast Lake Reservoir before it is treated and the piped throughout the community. Greater than 95% of homes in the city are fully plumbed. Piped sewage is processed at a secondary treatment plant that flows to an ocean outfall. The City of Angoon also provides a garbage collection service. On a weekly basis, refuse is collected and deposited at a municipal landfill located approximately two miles from the city. Diesel-generated electrical service for Angoon is provided by the Inside Passage Electric Cooperative (IPEC). 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
This quarter, RUBA staff provided the City of Angoon with financial, governmental, organizational, and personnel assistance. RUBA staff began the quarter by traveling to Angoon from January 10 to 13 to conduct a two-day city council training and lay the groundwork for effective utility management in the community. That training covered numerous topics ranging from ordinance and resolution writing to parliamentary procedure and Title 29 of the Alaska Statutes. Legal matters such as Alaska's Open Meetings Act and conflict of interest were also discussed in-depth. Additionally, RUBA staff was able to use this trip to evaluate the city's personnel and accounting systems and work with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC)'s utility support engineer to compile a critical spare parts list. In the following weeks, RUBA staff helped the city to draft several critical documents, the first being a utility safety meeting log for the utility operators. The mayor, who is the city's utility manager, had already been making regular visits to the treatment facility to meet with operators and discuss safety issues. However, there had been no formal record of those meetings. The log sheet drafted by RUBA staff will allow the mayor to record the date of each safety meeting, the names of those in attendance, the topics addressed, and any actions that need to be taken to remedy safety concerns. RUBA staff also drafted an ordinance and resolution disposition list for the city clerk and a city staff organizational chart to be adopted through resolution by the city council. The mayor and RUBA staff met with the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA)'s Director of Risk Management in February to continue the process of developing a new personnel policy for Angoon city staff. That month, RUBA staff also helped the city bookkeeper to calculate utility bill collection rates, provided the city council with comparative information on Southeast utility rate structures, and helped uncover eligible community facilities that had not previously been receiving Power Cost Equalization (PCE) payments. Further, RUBA staff continued to work with the city this quarter on general municipal government functions, which included ensuring that council meetings were conducted efficiently and that ordinances and resolutions were adopted appropriately. At the request of the mayor, RUBA staff has also helped the city to begin the process of updating its municipal code, a code that has not been properly codified since 1988. This municipal code update will address personnel, administration, zoning, and utility management provisions that are out of date. Finally, RUBA staff conducted a 32-hour RUBA elected officials training in Klawock, to which Angoon's accounts receivable clerk and planning specialist were able to attend. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
In the coming quarter, RUBA staff will continue to work with the city in implementing an effective utility bill collections policy and developing a personnel handbook. RUBA staff will also be available to provide assistance in having the more than 55 ordinances passed by the council since 1988 properly codified into the Angoon Municipal Code. Finally, further trainings will be made available to city staff both on site and in the Southeast Alaska region.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
21 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
39 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No 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.
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City of Angoon adopted its FY11 budget on September 20, 2010 for the period of July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. The budget appropriately separates the revenues and expenditures for city's various departments and enterprises. While Angoon's FY11 is indeed balanced, the budgeted expenditures for water, sewer, and garbage services are approximately 12% less than the amount budgeted for these services in FY10. This reduction in funding includes significant cuts to supply expenses, wages, and testing. Compared to FY10, the FY11 budget provides 66% less funding for sewer supplies, 40% less funding for the water plant's electricity and fuel oil needs, and no funding for supplies for the garbage collection and landfill service. City officials maintain that though the difference in funding between fiscal years is considerable, they are realistic and manageable. The city clerk has assured RUBA staff that there are funds available to continue purchasing critical items such as fuel, which is purchased as needed from Angoon Oil and Gas and stored in a 100-gallon fuel tank. The city is current as of March 2011 in all of its electricity bill payments to the Inside Passage Electric Cooperative (IPEC), to Angoon Oil and Gas for its bulk fuel, and to Analytica for water quality testing services. Projected utility expenses exceed the projected revenues generated by user fees in the FY11 budget by $106,202, a deficit filled with funds from the city's general fund. There is no explicit line item in the city budget for a subsidy from the general fund to the utility department. The city budgeted to have earned $37,500 in utility user fees by this point in the fiscal year. Yet, financial reports completed to the end of March 2011 show that the city has collected just 81% of that amount. On February 4, 2011, the city's bookkeeper reported to RUBA staff that only 47 of the 144 utility customers (32%) consistently pay their bills on time and in full. The total of recorded accounts receivable for the utility amounts to over $300,000.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
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
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
Title 13 of the Angoon Municipal Code (AMC) outlines the city's utility bill collection policy. According to that policy, bills are to be sent out by the tenth day of each month. Bills are considered delinquent if payment is not received by the last day of that month. Customers can pay their bills by mail, in person at city hall, or through scheduled credit card payments. Customers who pay by mail appropriate receipts with the following month's statement. Additionally, city employees have the option of voluntarily having their utility payments automatically deducted from their paycheck. Title 13 of the AMC also provides a clear warning, disconnection, and repayment plan for delinquent customers, though the city continues to struggle with enforcing these policies. Indeed, the city has taken some action and is attempting to follow the provisions contained in its utility ordinance and is considering installing curb stops in order to discontinue service to delinquent utility customers. Water, sewer, and garbage service rates in Angoon are charged according to a detailed item price list with various customer categories. Generally, those categories consist of residential, elderly, business, and public facility classes. Each class pays a particular flat rate for the three utility services together as outlined in the utility's price list. Utility bills include the customer's name and address, the dates of service provided, the amount due, and any unpaid balance carried forward from previous months. When customers pay their bill, they receive a numbered receipt from the bookkeeper's receipt book which details the form of payment, the date the payment was received, who it was received by, and what the payment was for. All payments are then entered into the QuickBooks accounting system which is used to track utility customers and maintain both the accounts receivable and accounts payable systems. Purchases are requested with a standardized, numbered purchase request form. These forms must be reviewed and approved by the mayor and matched with a separate purchase order record kept by the bookkeeper. The purchase order record lists the particular order number, the date, who requested the purchase, what the purchase was for, and whether it was approved. All purchases are matched to the appropriate city department and supplier using a simple four- or five-digit code. The city also utilizes a standardized set of timesheets which identify the all the necessary employee information, the funding department, any annual or sick leave used, and leave balances. The timesheets must be signed by the employee and the supervisor at the end of each time period. Additionally, there are formal, written leave application request, payroll advance request, and check request forms that must be completed by city employees. The bookkeeper reconciles utility bank accounts each month and keeps record of all bank statements in a secure, organized filing cabinet.

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's bookkeeper uses QuickBooks to calculate, track, and report its payroll tax liabilities. The Internal Revenue Service's taxpayer Advocacy Office has confirmed on March 30 that Angoon is current in its federal tax reports and filings and the IRS has no liens against the city as of March 2011. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development confirmed on March 17 that all state tax payments are current as well.

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.
No The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation.
No 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.
No 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 Angoon has a workers' compensation insurance policy with the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA) valid through June 30, 2011 and covers work-related accidents and occupational diseases up to the Alaska statutory limits for each occurrence. Proof of coverage is posted in three areas including City Hall, the city shop, and the water treatment facility. Personnel folders are well-organized and contain all necessary INS forms, IRS forms, acceptance letters, and records of any disciplinary Actions. However, the city continues to work with AMLJIA to adopt a personnel policy for all city employees.

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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No 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 does not fully enforce the utility bill collections policy set forth under Title 13 of the Angoon Municipal Code (AMC). City officials are, however, exploring the possibility of installing curb stops in order to discontinue service to non-paying utility customers. The city council meets on the third Tuesday of each month as required by the AMC. In order to faithfully comply with Alaska's Open Meetings Act, the city clerk posts notices for these meetings at least twenty-four hours in advance in three public places. In the event that reasonable public notice hasn't been given prior to a public meeting, RUBA staff has worked with city officials to reschedule. The utility is managed by the city's mayor, who has attended city council trainings and is versed in the general operations of the city's utility systems. The citys bookkeeper undertook the RUBA 'Becoming a QuickBooks Power User - Level One' course in November of 2008 and successfully completed a QuickBooks Premier Edition 2011 Advanced Level training program in December of 2010. The city also employees an accounts receivable clerk who assists the bookkeeper. This clerk recently completed the 32-RUBA Elected Officials UTM course and is scheduled to undertake introductory QuickBooks training in April. The city of Angoon employs two utility operators, John Silva and Jeremy Martin. While neither operator currently has the required level of certification necessary to operate the water treatment, water distribution, or wastewater collection systems, both operators continue to receive technical guidance from utility support engineers with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. Jeremy Martin has also undertaken Class 2 water treatment training.

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.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility's newest operator, Jeremy Martin, has shown that he is actively working towards necessary certification by attending a week-long Level 2 water treatment course in Juneau and sitting the Level 1 certification exam in February. That operator has also worked closely with one of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC)'s utility support engineers to become proficient in the safe, proper operation of Angoon's utility systems. The city's water utility nonetheless remains on the EPA's Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list for its continued high levels of disinfectant by-products (DBPs). In order to be removed from the list, the utility must not have any DBP violations for one quarter and must complete one round of valid lead and copper samples. The State of Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Environmental Health states that Angoon's water treatment plant may require further upgrades in order to address these elevated DBP levels, though a final plan for such upgrades has not been made. The water treatment facility was recently upgraded from a Class 1 system to a Class 2 system with the addition of new facility components. During that upgrade, the utility was able to secure a collection of critical spare parts that are kept on hand at the facility. These parts were recently itemized in a critical spare parts list with the help of the ANTHC utility support engineer. The operators, however, do not currently maintain a full inventory control list. A safety manual is available on site and safety meetings are held at least once a month with the utility operators and utility manager (the city's mayor). Records of such meetings are recorded in a safety meeting log maintained by the utility manager.