Quarterly Report: 2011, October - December (Q2), Saxman

Lawrence Blood  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Saxman 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a dammed reservoir, is treated and stored in a 128,000-gal. tank. The City of Saxman operates a piped water and sewer system. All homes are plumbed. A new sewage treatment plant and ocean outfall were recently completed. A few homes use individual septic tanks. Refuse is collected by a private company and disposed of at the Ketchikan landfill. Electricity is provided by Ketchikan Public Utilities. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The community continues to submit supporting documentation on a quarterly basis consisting of monthly financial reports. The documents received during the last quarter, confirms that Saxman still successfully meets all essential capacity indicators.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA Staff will schedule a community vist in March 2010 conduct an updated RUBA assessment. RUBA staff will continue to provide assistance as requested and monitor the progress towards meeting sustainable indicators.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 27
Total Score:
46 of 54


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.
No 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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The utility budget has revenue projections equal to expenditures. Frey accounting software has three integrated modules: Cubic utility billing and control, Chips payroll, and Bucs general fund accounting. The City Administrator reported that this accounting system is working well, especially the utility billing and control module. The payroll and general fund modules are a little cumbersome to use; however, they are still functional. The community recently increased the utility rate from $30. to $60. per month for water and sewer service. At present, user fee revenues are covering all of the utilitys operational cost and the utility has approximately $100,000. in reserve. The City's reserve is primarily used for utility repair and maintenance; however, the funds are not restricted to these purposes. The City has recently used reserve funds to purchase a new public works pick-up truck with cash. The Administrator submits monthly financial reports to the Saxman City Council which compares actual revenue and expenditures to budgeted projections. The community has no bulk fuel storage facility. They purchase fuel from Andres Oil in Ketchikan on a keep fill contract. Budget amendments are rare. Amendments are only considered if actual revenue or expenditures for a particular line item deviates from budgeted projections by plus or minus 10% of the total budgeted amount. Examination of the Utility budget reveals that year-to-date revenues and expenditures combine to create a $14,000 deficit. The City Council supports the Utility through budget amendments as necessary.

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 governing body has an adopted collections policy which is vigorously enforced through collection actions, delinquency notices, service disconnections, late fees, and reconnection fees. By actively enforcing the City's collection policy contained within their utility ordinance, the City has achieved an acceptable collection rate with $2,548.00 currently 31-60 days past due and only $62.00 which is 61 days or more delinquent. Utility bills are sent out on the first working day of the month and late fees are assessed on the 25th of the month. If a utility account lapses more then 60 days, the account is brought before the utility committee for recommendations on collection actions which would most likely include the disconnection of utility service. Bank deposits for incoming funds are deposited weekly, bills are paid once or twice per week as they are received, and bank reconciliations are performed monthly. The community is currently using Frey accounting software for utility billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll. The community uses a manual receipt book system to record incoming funds, which is subsequently entered into the Frey accounting system. The same receipt book is used for all funds coming into the community. The utility uses both purchase orders and request for checks which are reviewed and signed by the City Administrator.

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.
Yes 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 utility is in compliance with federal and state tax deposit requirements.

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.
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.
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 of Saxman has workers compensation insurance through AML/JIA effective through 6/31/11. The City of Saxman has a well established and implemented personnel management system. The community has an adopted personnel policy handbook which is required to be read by every employee. The City does not have a written hiring procedure; however, the City has traditionally required a 90 day probationary period for new hires. Job descriptions are updated and the personnel files are very well organized with all the necessary employee documents. The City provides annual evaluations for all employees, however evaluations are not tied to the job descriptions.

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 has two operators working on the utility systems who have the necessary level of certification. The operators have OIT level certifications, which is appropriate for the classification of the facility. Both operators are working towards their Water Treatment 1 certification in anticipation of a water system upgrade. The utility operator Richard Shields has the following certificates: Water Treatment OIT Exp. 12/31/10 Water Distribution OIT Exp. 12/31/10 The utility operator Michael O'Larick has the following certificates: Water Treatment OIT Exp. 12/31/11 Wastewater Collection OIT Exp. 12/31/11 Wastewater Treatment 1 Exp. 12/31/09 Water Distribution OIT Exp. 12/31/09

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".
No 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 water system is on the october 2010 Significant Non-Complier list for failure to meet Maximum Contaminant levels for Total Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic Acids as required by the Stage 1 Disinfectant/Disinfection By-Product Rule. The utility operator consults with the City Administrator on a regular basis and provides written status reports monthly. The operator maintains an adequate level of supplies and some spare parts for the utility, however does not maintain an inventory control or critical spare parts list. In addition to stocked parts and supplies, the utility has an agreement with the Ketchikan water system where tools, parts and supplies can be obtained on an emergency basis. There have been no problems or outages due to management issues. The utility completes and distributes its Community Confidence Report (CCR) and is operating at the proposed level of service. The operators have a preventive maintenance plan for the sanitation facilities which is included in the operations manual. While the operators discuss potential risks before starting a job, they do not conduct regular safety meetings, or have a safety manual.