Quarterly Report: 2007, October - December (Q2), Ekwok

Community:
Ekwok 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Ekwok 
Population:
118  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
1/23/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Individual wells provide water for the majority of the community. Approximately 20 HUD homes have individual wells and a piped septic system. The City operates a piped sewage system with sewage lift station, which connects to approximately 16 additional residences. The remaining homes use septic systems or a flush/haul system; a sewage pumper is available. Thirty six of 42 homes have complete plumbing. The community needs a washeteria with a water source and treatment system. Landfill services are available at no charge. Ekwok Electric, a city-owned utility, provides electricity. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
During the quarter, RUBA contacted the city administrator to offer assistance with resolution of deficient RUBA Assessment indicators. Several RUBA Indicators are still in stages of improvement including payroll processing. The bookkeeper hired to review utility billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general filing in the city office resigned during the quarter, however the city administrator has necessary experience to carry out essential functions. RUBA provided feedback and recommendations on the city's FY 2007 water/sewer budget, collections efforts, and monthly financial reports. Last quarter, staff indicated they were focusing on improving accounts receivable, accounts payable, and utility billing. RUBA continues to await confirmation of improvements and outcomes. RUBA will also continue to offer review of payroll calculations prior to each pay period. During the quarter, the Village Safe Water (VSW) engineer visited Ekwok to check construction status and meet with the city council. In other matters, the city plans to initiate a landfill use fee. RUBA provided a sample solid waste ordinance and offered to assist going forward. The administrator indicated the city plans to invite RUBA for onsite assistance. RUBA will maintain contact with city officials and plan travel for onsite assistance upon request. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will continue efforts to contact city staff and document progress on the resolution of deficient RUBA Assessment indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
19 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 25
Total Score:
37 of 52

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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The water/sewer budget is balanced and revenues are sufficient to cover expenses. The city administrator, who also serves as a city council member, provides monthly financial reports to the city council. Utility revenue is sufficient to cover operating expenses and is said to be improved due to implementation of billing for sewer connection services. The monthly manager's report should be provided to the council in writing to better serve the governing body's needs.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No 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.
No 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
No A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.
No 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 is now billing customers with a sewer line connection. For septic pumping services, as in the past, the utility requires advance payment. RUBA continues to await confirmation of specific collections data from the city. Concerning payroll, RUBA continues to offer to review payroll calculations prior to each pay period.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
Yes The utility is current on filing tax reports.
No The utility is current on making tax deposits.
No 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 confirmed July 21, 2006 that the city is complying with federal tax obligations. RUBA continues to request payroll spreadsheets prior to each pay period, however, the city administrator has not consistenty provided the reports. RUBA will request a new IRS authorization to release tax information form be completed in the new quarter to confirm tax obligations are being met.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
Personnel System Comments
Worker's Compensation coverage has been purchased through AML/JIA however, RUBA was unable to confirm whether the coverage is current. The city's personnel policy is incorporated in city code. Job descriptions are maintained in the personnel policy and city code.

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
No 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 owns and operates the water/sewer system and maintains a water/sewer ordinance in city code. RUBA awaits confirmation of utility billing and collections. The city administrator serves as utility manager and the electric utility manager serves as the water operator, both of whom are trained and experienced. Council meeting minutes should be more consistently prepared and filed.

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.
N/A The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
N/A 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 city is not required to have a certified water operator or wastewater operator, so that specific indicator is marked yes. The fuel utility manager serves as a council member and as water operator. The preventative maintenance plan identifies operational information based on original system design. The city's watering point, located at city hall, should be added to policy and the budgeting process.