Quarterly Report: 2007, January - March (Q3), White Mountain

Community:
White Mountain 
Staff:
Melissa Taylor  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of White Mountain 
Population:
224  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/1/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff traveled to White Mountain in March at the invitation of the community. The washeteria remains closed due to deficit operations over the past several years. Last year, it lost over $13,000 and this year it was projected to lose at least $23,000 due to higher fuel and electricity costs. White Mountain Utilities, which operates electricity, water and sewer, and cable tv, has account receivables totaling $144,000. At least $44,000 of that is from water/sewer utility past due accounts. The utility clerk tried to take most of the past due customers to small claims court, but after almost a year, the court returned the claims that were filed and recommended the utility redo them, as there were too many to file. With the approval of the Council, the utility clerk decided to send the past due accounts to a bill collection company. The City was successful in collecting about $21,000. with the assistance of the collection agency. RUBA staff will continue to provide technical assistance to the utilities manager to strengthen the utility's ordinances, especially the collection sections.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
New RUBA staff visited White Mountain per the mayor request on March 29-30, 2007. Staff will continue to provide technical assistance to the utilities manager to strengthen the utility's ordinances, especially the collection sections.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
26 of 27
Total Score:
52 of 54

Finances

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
Monthly financial reports for the utilities are done using Excel spreadsheets; RUBA staff provided training on how to acquire the actual figures for the reports. Some of the w/s utility bills are absorbed by the city-run electric system. The lift station normally consumes about $1,000 of electricity a month.

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 utility's past due accounts for all the services provided are enormous. The total accounts, as of March, 2007, is about $123,000. Down from $144,000 one year ago. Some of the past due customers have moved and may be difficult to collect. RUBA encouraged the council not to forgive the past due accounts, no matter the age, and pursue any collection opportunities that may come up. The utility clerk is fairly competent with Quickbooks Pro and is self-taught. She uses all aspects and programs of QBP. She does monthly bank reconciliations and has a purchasing system in place.

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
Past tax issues are resolved. Taxes are being paid in a timely fashion.

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.
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 utility has copies of the Notice to Employees of Worker's Compensation Insurance coverage posted at the utility and city offices. The utility needs a job description written for its operators; RUBA staff is working with them on this and will work with the Utilities manager to revise the cities utilities ordiance. This utility is one of the better organized ones in this region.

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.
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 council acts as the utility board, and meets regularly and is actively involved with the utility's policy issues. It needs to be more aggressive with the collection policies. The utility clerk is self taught and is very competent with finances. The utility operator is OIT certified with Water Treatment and Distribution, as well as Wastewater Collection and Treatment, and is actively working towards higher lever certifications. The city has utility ordinances for all its utilities, but would like to have RUBA assist them with revising them. RUBA staff worked with the city clerk to revise and recodify thier Code of Ordinances.

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 utility operator is OIT certified with Water Treatment and Distribution, as well as Wastewater Collection and Treatment, and is actively working towards higher lever certifications. RUBA staff worked with the utility and RMW to complete a preventative maintenance plan. Nome RUBA staff worked with the utility to make inventory control and critical spare parts lists.