Quarterly Report: 2014, July - September (Q1), Cold Bay

Cold Bay 
Jedediah Smith  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Cold Bay 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The city provided services include piped water, piped wastewater, and a landfill. Currently, water is supplied by two wells and stored in a 213,000-gallon tank. The majority of residents are connected to the piped water and wastewater system. A few homes have individual wells and wastewater systems. The wastewater treatment plant processes approximately 45,000 gallons a day. Residents transport their own refuse to the landfill located 1.5 miles north of the city. G and K, Inc. provides electricity to the community. The City of Cold Bay uses the state fiscal year, beginning July 1. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On July 10, Anchorage RUBA staff assisted Cold Bay City Clerk Dawn Lyons with a question regarding appointments by the city council to committees. The clerk questioned whether the city could have any committees without a city council members or city staff sitting on the committee. Cold Bay's code does not specifically address committee appointments, but RUBA staff cited other areas of the code that shed light on the process. On August 6, Cold Bay city clerk requested information regarding the Open Meetings Act. The community is expecting a visit with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. A group of community members, including members of the city council and the mayor planned to meet with Secretary Jewell prior to a community potluck. The clerk asked whether the Open Meetings Act applied. RUBA staff responded that as long as there are enough council members to make a quorum, the OMA applies. RUBA staff also sent a link to the 2002 Gordon Tans memo regarding Alaska's Open Meetings Act. On August 16, the Cold Bay City Clerk contacted Anchorage RUBA staff regarding draft language for a land lease by the city from the State of Alaska. The City of Cold Bay intends to lease 50,400 square foot parcel for the purpose of constructing a health clinic. The Aleutians East Borough will pay the first year rental fees. The city intends to turn the lease over to the Eastern Aleutians Tribe, which will assume the lease and pay the water and wastewater fees once the clinic is constructed. After reviewing the lease agreement, Anchorage RUBA staff assisted with draft resolution language. On September 19, the Cold Bay City Clerk contacted Anchorage LGS staff inquiring what legal issues the city must consider if it were to poll residents on whether or not to implement a local sales tax, which could be used to subsidize the water and wastewater utility if needed. RUBA staff told the clerk that polling residents of the community on the matter did not necessarily have strict legal requirements and that some communities choose to hold an advisory vote that does not obligate the city. Title 29 provides a process for the passage of a local sales tax, requiring ordinance passage by the council and ratification by the voters.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to assist the community as requested. A newly assigned RUBA staff is scheduled to begin work on December 2.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
53 of 53


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.
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.
Finances Comments
The City of Cold Bay FY14 budget was adopted on May 21, 2013. The budget is balanced and includes the water utility budget with annual revenues of $75,000 and expenditures of $65,152, with a surplus of $9,848. Surplus revenues are used to cover other city operations, such as streets and road maintenance. Financial reports are submitted to the policy making body at the monthly council meeting. The reports indicates that the city is receiving sufficient revenues to cover the expenditures of the water utility. The clerk is the financial director for the utility and provides written monthly financial reports to the council at the meetings. She attends the meetings and is available for questions concerning the finance reports. The city is current with the utility electric bills from G and K, Inc. The city gets fuel deliveries for the water treatment plant from Frosty Fuels, a subsidiary of the Aleut Corporation, on a monthly basis and fills the tank. The city adopts budget amendments as needed.

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.
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
The city has a collection policy within the code of ordinances, Title 6, Chapter 36, Section 120 Water and Sewer System's Delinquent Accounts. The city utility sends out a bill for water services at the end of each month. The utility uses QuickBooks Pro 2012 to track customer's accounts, accounts payable, and employee payroll. Once cash is received, the clerk uses QuickBooks to generate a receipt for the customer. The city has a cash disbursement system that requires the mayor's approval on major purchases for the utility. The chart of accounts lists all the bank accounts, accounts receivable, assets, accounts payable, liabilities, income and expenditures of the utility. Monthly bank reconciliations are done within QuickBooks. Major purchases are discussed with the clerk and mayor with budgetary constraints being addressed.

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 IRS report dated September 10, 2013 shows that the city is compliant with required federal tax deposits and filing and has no record of a lien. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Employment Security Division's report from September 23, 2013 states that the city is in compliance with state tax filing and deposits and is not on the July-August 2013 Lien Watch.

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.
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.
Personnel System Comments
Cold Bay is currently insured with Alaska Municipal League, Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA) as of September 19, 2013. The city has personnel files within the city office that contain I-9 forms, job applications and letters of acceptance for each employee. There is a six-month probationary period for newly hired employees outlined in the policies manual. When funding is available, the city sends staff to trainings.

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
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 of Cold Bay was incorporated in 1981 as a second class city within the Aleutians East Borough. It has the necessary utility ordinance and a provisional certification of public necessity from the Alaska Regulatory Commission to operate utilities within the city limits. The council meets monthly on the third Tuesday of the month. The utility has curb stops to each connection that has proven effective for collections policy enforcement. The bookkeeper is the city administrator, who has attended a QuickBooks class sponsored by the RUBA program and has attended various utility management trainings. Cold Bay received the QuickBooks install and training in previous years and is still using the program effectively and efficiently. The operator has a Water Treatment Provisional and Water Distribution 1 due to expire on December 31, 2015. The operator also has Wastewater Treatment Provisional and Wastewater Collection Provisional due to expire on December 31, 2013.

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".
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.
Operation of Utility Comments
The public works director took the Water Treatment exam and Water Distribution exam on May 24, 2013 and has a provisional certificate in both water treatment and distribution. The utility has a copy of the Operations and Maintenance Manual at the water plant that was prepared by CE2 Engineers, Inc. in May 1998. The public works director attends the monthly AMLJIA safety meetings with other city staff. The director provides the city with a monthly maintenance report. The utility has filed and distributed the 2011 CCR. The utility is not on the April 2013 Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list. The director has a critical spare parts and inventory control list that he maintains in the water plant.