RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Anderson


Community:

Anderson

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Jeremy Johnson

Agreement:

No

DCA Region:

Fairbanks

Agreement Date:

Region:

Interior

Exp Date:

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Denali Borough

Assessment Date:

8/17/2011

Population:

246

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

9/27/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

Most homes and public schools have individual wells, wastewater systems, and plumbing. A permitted recreation vehicle (RV) disposal lagoon and sludge disposal site is provided by the city. Residents hire a private wastewater pumping company when their systems need maintenance; the company deposits the waste into the city owned lagoon. There is a current Village Safe Water project to connect all buildings to a piped wastewater system. After homes are connected to the piped waste water system, individual wastewater systems must be filled in and made non functioning. The first customers, including the school, were brought online in the fall of 2011, during the summer of 2012 new customers continue to be connected.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

Fairbanks RUBA staff has worked with the city over the phone and via email this quarter. Assistance was provided in the areas of financial and operational management. RUBA staff provided advice to the bookkeeper on the format of financial reports and suggested that the city not create a new accounting company file just for the wastewater system. The benefit of QuickBooks is that each department, or class, can be accounted for separately and that creating a new company just for the wastewater system is extra work. The wastewater system is part of the Environmental Department and should not be separated out and this would not provide for a complete financial picture. The city was able to reach 100 percent compliance with essential indicators, this was accomplished with the assistance of the city clerk, a Village Safe Water (VSW) employee, and RUBA staff. A business plan was provided to RUBA staff from VSW, this plan was reviewed, comments provided and changes incorporated. The council approved the business plan for the piped wastewater system, a copy of which is on file in the Fairbanks office. RUBA staff also responded to an inquiry about releasing draft meeting minutes to the public. The minutes, once adopted by the council, are the official record of meetings. Until they are adopted, the meetings say DRAFT and it was suggested that there would not be a problem with sharing the draft minutes.

 

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.

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.

Comment:

The wastewater utility income is greater than budgeted and greater than expenses. The wastewater utility expenses are greater than budget.The city passed a budget amendment. The city is able to pay its bills, according to the Accounts Payable report. New customer are continuing to be connected and added to the financial reports. Many customers are snowbirds and leave for the winter, those customers pay and disconnect and reconnect fee as they come and go from the system. The fee schedule, as part of the business plan, has taken this into account and should be able to continue operations.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

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:

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 city, by using QuickBooks, has a system in place to record how money was spent. The city has hired additional staff to fulfill the bookkeeping responsibilities and she has reconciled the bank accounts. The city has a number of customers who leave the state during the winter, the 'snow bird' customers are now being charged a disconnect fee and then a reconnect fee upon returning, during the disconnected period no monthly bill is sent. The year round customers are billed on a regular basis. A new commercial customer has been added to the billing system. The Accounts Receivable report indicates that there are seven customers, with outstanding bills greater than two months, the mayor has written delinquent notices to the customers.

 

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:

DOL reports the city is compliant. The city was not compliant with the IRS, as of July 2, but on September 26 the city provided proof that the report was completed.

 

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.

Yes

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.

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.

Comment:

The workers compensation insurance policy is posted in the kitchen/employee break room and is purchased through AMLJIA for the periods of July 1, 2013 through July 1, 2014, on line verification on September 27, 2013 supports that the insurance policy is still in effect. The personnel policy is part of the Anderson Code of Ordinances 2.50 and is complete, as are the job descriptions for city positions. According to the clerk, and documented by the lack of evaluation in the personnel folders, evaluations have not occurred in a number of years. Personnel policies state that evaluations must occur on the employee anniversary date of hire (AO 2.565.5(b)) in addition to other times. The personnel policy has a written hiring process, which provides the mayor the ability to create the device or devices to be used in evaluating applicants. Personnel folders contained every document except for the letter of acceptance. According to personnel policy, the probationary period is 90 days and it is up to the department head to provide job training, oversight, and evaluations. Training opportunities are available and have been utilized.

 

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.

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:

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:

As established in the wastewater utility ordinance 08-06, the City of Anderson shall own and operate the utility. As the wastewater project has not connected all customers, indicators are being based on the actions of the city council (also the utility board) with respect to management of the existing lagoon. The city council meets regularly and is an active participant in discussions with the Village Safe Water (VSW) engineer and was active in passing the utility ordinance and the business plan for the piped wastewater system. The city council enforces the existing ordinances for the sewage lagoon. Ordinance 08-06 sections 3 and 5 give the city the authority to operate the system. An organizational chart shows the current structure and lines of authority. The city council meets every month and these meetings are open to the public to attend.

 

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.

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.

N/A

The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".

Yes

The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.

Yes

The utility maintains an inventory control list.

Yes

The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.

Comment:

The utility operator is current with certifications. The current wastewater lagoon has a preventative maintenance plan and upon completion of the piped wastewater system a plan will be provided to the city. The manager does get monthly reports; if there is anything of a pressing nature he is provided with updates as necessary. The manager also makes onsite visits to view productivity and to inspect the maintenance books. Safety meetings are held according to the standard operating procedures for the lagoon. There have not been any major problems; the utility is operating as designed. Each building has its own water well; the city does not provide public water and does not have a Consumer Confidence Report. The city is not on the April SNC list. The city has, on hand, some essential parts. It also retains fencing and parts to repair the liner. As the city currently only has a lagoon, there are very few parts to keep on hand when compared to a piped water system.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA and city staff have a good working relationship and support is ongoing as needed.