Quarterly Report: 2014, April - June (Q4), Coffman Cove

Coffman Cove 
Lynn Kenealy  
DCRA Regional Office:
Juneau regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Coffman Cove 
163 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Coffman Cove is a community of approximately 163 residents on the northeast coast of Prince of Wales Island. The city is connected to other communities on the island by an extensive road system. The community originated as a logging camp in the 1950’s, and incorporated as a city in 1989. The city’s water is surface water derived from Dog Creek, a surface water source, and stored in a raw water tank, goes through a filtration system, and is chlorinated, then distributed to the community. There are 140 service connections, all metered. The city also provides water to the school and businesses in the community. Approximately 200 gallons can be treated per minute. The city runs two large septic tanks and collects wastewater from some residents, with a gray-water outflow. There are additional individual septic systems, which are owned by individual home owners but maintained by the city for a cost. The community has three lift stations. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
This quarter RUBA staff assisted utility staff with suggested amendments to the employee handbook, which have brought the city into compliance on all RUBA indicators. Also this quarter, RUBA staff assisted with various Open Meetings Act questions, equipment sales processes, and federal tax compliance. The city is considering expanding its water utility to include drinking water delivery to residents in the community which are not currently on the water distribution system. RUBA staff provided information about the engineering and compliance process, and provided contacts with the Department of Environmental Conservation for the community to begin the process. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will be available in the coming quarter to provide advice and assistance as requested. Upon receipt of the FY15 budget, RUBA staff will analyze the document to ensure it is realistic and balanced, and provide advice and assistance if needed.
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 Coffman Cove operates on the July-June fiscal year, and adopted its FY14 budget on June 20, 2013, by non-code ordinance. The budget includes a financial summary indicating total cash available, summary of total revenue anticipated, and summary of total expenditure anticipated. The budget is then broken down into departments. A comparison is provided to FY13 budget actual. The water and wastewater department breaks down individual line item expenses, and realistically anticipates all revenue and expenditures based on previous year actuals. Budget amendments are completed when necessary throughout the year, and were recently completed, including FY14 budget figures, FY14 estimated year to date figures, and FY14 amended figures. The city clerk/treasurer provides financial reports to the council at every regular monthly meeting, which includes a balance sheet and profit and loss budget versus actual report for the fiscal year to date. This profit and loss report is divided into departments, and includes revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year to date, the budgeted figures for each category, the dollar amount over budget, and the percentage of budget. The most recent report was provided to the council at their May meeting, and covered the reporting period of July 1, 2013, through May 8, 2014. As of this date, the water/sewer department had received 104 percent of its anticipated revenue, and expended only 65% of it's anticipated expenditures. Therefore, the utility is in good standing, nearing the end of the fiscal year. The last budget amendment was completed in December 2013. The utility is receiving sufficient revenue to cover operating expenses, as well as approximately $35-40,000 per year which assists in covering the cost of repair and replacement for depreciating equipment, lines, and tanks. The city receives its power from the Alaska Power Company, through hydro power provided to the entire island. The city provided evidence of payment, which is separated into each department and coded as such in QuickBooks. The community receives fuel from Petro Marine, which delivers via truck on the island’s road system. This fuel is purchased by a store in the community, R&R Fuels, then distributed to the city and utility. Sufficient fuel is available in the community on a cyclic basis, and sufficient funding is budgeted for the utility’s fuel needs.

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
Water is billed to customers at a flat rate of $50 per month for the first 5,000 gallons, then an additional $12 per 1,000 gallons. The average water use is approximately 3,500 gallons per customer. The cost of septic and wastewater is $15 each. There is an additional unplumbed fee for customers who have an available water line but choose not to access it. The Coffman Cove Municipal Code Chapter 7.04 provides for utility policies, including billing and collection. At the end of each month, statements are generated and mailed out. These statements include billing for water, wastewater, septic, moorage, refuse collection, and any other bills for the month a customer may have accrued with the city. Several customers have signed up with auto-payment, which the city bills through Intuit, then prints a credit card receipt which they include with the statement to the customer. All other customer bills are due by the end of the month. If no payment is received, accounts are subject to late fees on the balance due. Forty five days after the account becomes delinquent, a turn-off delinquency notice is sent to the customer, with the turn-off date being no sooner than ten days from the date of the notice. An appeals process is also provided. The day of shut-off, a notice is hand-delivered to the door, and the water is turned off for non-payment at noon the following day. Restoration of service requires a reconnection fee, as well as full payment of the amount due. The accounts receivable system involves a log book, completed by the city clerk who receives the payment. A triplicate receipt is provided, with a copy going to the customer, a copy remaining with the payment, and a copy going to the treasurer for coding. Cash receipt system reflects the accounts receivable system. Accounts payable bills or invoices initially go into a tickler file, then is matched up with a purchase order, taken to the city administrator for approval and coding, then paid by the treasurer. For purchase orders, the employee completes a purchase order form and provides it to the city administrator for approval. The city administrator signs and codes to a budget category, then provides to the treasurer for payment. A receipt of payment is then returned to the treasurer after purchase. The payroll system is currently changing to some extent, but generally involves a daily time card submitted either in person or by fax for employees off-site. At the end of the time period, the city administrator approves all timecards, and provides them to the treasurer for payroll and coding. The treasurer also completes all payroll liability requirements. There is no cash disbursement. Reconciliations are provided monthly by a third party, Alaska Business Partners. A reconciliation summary is provided as evidence. A chart of accounts is also maintained by the city through the QuickBooks program.

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 utilizes QuickBooks to calculate payroll liabilities, and Alaska Business Partners E-Pay to make payments to the state and IRS. The IRS confirmed on June 2, 2014, that the city is current on all IRS tax liabilities and filings. The State of Alaska Employment Security Division confirmed on May 30, 2014, that the city is compliant on all state unemployment insurance requirements. The city has no past liens or liabilities.

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
The city receives its worker’s compensation insurance through AMLJIA, and is paid in full through June 30, 2014. This expense was coded to each individual department appropriately. The city has an employee handbook which covers several employment and personnel related topics. A hiring process is provided for, including posting, application process, hiring, and job descriptions. There is a three-month probationary period, which can be extended, and is completed upon receipt of a successful performance evaluation. All employees receive performance evaluations annually, and are also provided with a self-evaluation to complete at the same time. Improvement plans are included when needed. Training opportunities are available, as will be discussed in the following section. Personnel files include W4’s, signed job descriptions, identification, certifications, I-9’s, job applications, and letters of acceptance. A checklist is available in each file to ensure all proper paperwork is included. Job descriptions have all been reviewed within the past three years, and are available for all permanent positions of city.

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 Coffman Cove owns and operates the water and wastewater utilities for the community. The city council is the policy-making body for the utility. The council meets for one regular council meeting every month, and receives verbal managerial reports from the city administrator and written reports from the water operator, as well as financial reports from the treasurer. All Open Meetings Act requirements are met as required by the city clerk, who posts for all meetings in five consistent locations: city hall, the post office, the library, the store, and the bar. Coffman Cove Municipal Code Title 7 provides for the necessary rules and regulations to operate the utility. The city has an organizational chart which specifies that the city clerk, treasurer, and utility operators are under the supervision of the council; the city administrator and some other employees are under the supervision of the mayor, and some other employees are under the supervision of the city administrator. The city administrator has worked for the city for three years, and has attended several RUBA utility management trainings including clerks, personnel, planning, and financial. The city clerk/treasurer has worked in this position for two years, and has attended the clerks and QuickBooks RUBA utility management classes. The assistant city clerk has attended the financial management course, and the mayor has attended the elected officials training. The primary water operator has worked in this position since 2008.

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 primary water operator holds water treatment certification class 2, and is not currently certified for wastewater collection or water distribution. He is currently working toward provisional certification for both class 1 systems. One back-up operator holds a provisional water treatment certification, and a second back-up operator is currently uncertified. The utility manager visits the plant regularly, and both the manager and the operator provide reports to the city council at every meeting. The utility has a manual for each system which includes a preventative maintenance plan with daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. The operator also maintains inventory and critical spare parts lists for all utility systems, including safety equipment. Safety manuals are also available, and utility staff attend the AMLJIA safety meeting telephonically the first Tuesday of every month, as well as maintaining documentation of every meeting. The utility is not on the January 2014 Significant Non-Compliance list, and has completed and distributed the 2012 Consumer Confidence Report. The system is operating at the level of service proposed. Previous power outages have been rectified by being a part of the Prince of Wales Island electric grid, and also maintaining generators in the case of emergency. The 2013 Consumer Confidence Report, due to DEC July 1, 2014, was confirmed completed and distributed as of May 2014.