Quarterly Report: 2010, January - March (Q3), New Stuyahok

Community:
New Stuyahok 
Staff:
Barbara Higgins  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of New Stuyahok 
Population:
448  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/10/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well and is treated. The majority of the community (roughly 94 households), facilities and the school are connected to a piped water and sewer system installed in 1971 and have complete plumbing. Some residents use individual wells and septic tanks; roughly six homes are without complete plumbing. Electricity is provided by AVEC. The city coordinates landfill management with the village council. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA continues providing assistance to the city administrator with tasks including water/sewer monthly financial reporting, payroll tax processing, and other tasks including budgeting, planning, and grant application review associated with a proposed public safety facility. Concerning the RUBA Assessment, a Village Safe Water grant condition, most but not all RUBA essential indicators are being met. City staff are working to resolve the relatively small amount of deficient RUBA indicators which, at this time, appear resolvable in the near future. Concerning the Community Sanitation Overview listed in this report above, RUBA continues to request city staff review the language for accuracy as several projects including a new school and new housing is complete or near completion. On January 25-29th RUBA staff presented and sponsored a 32 hour Utility Clerks Training in Dillingham. The citys administrator attended a portion of the course.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with the city and continue offering assistance.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
45 of 53

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.
No The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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 FY 2010 water/sewer budget is balanced and realistic. City staff provided copies of a water/sewer budget amendment that increased both projected revenue and expenditures. According to city reports, year-to-date water/sewer revenues through 02/28/10 expenditures are trailing revenues, city staff reported that recent disconnection notices were sent to delinquent accounts will likely improve the bottom line in coming months. RUBA provided recommendations concerning methods of financial reporting during the quarter. City officials report fuel supplies remain sufficient. Electric bills are current. The water operator presents monthly operational reports to the council; the administrator presents the utility's financial reports. Budget amendments are adopted 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.
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 enforces the water/sewer ordinance which includes a collections policy. Concerning customers with past due accounts, disconnection notices are sent from time to time and the city administrator confirmed delivery of disconnection notices during October. The city continues with a contract for utility billing in coordination with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). Of note, city staff report collections are stable but behind budget. Staff reprot ongoing customer complaints related to the accuracy of billing statements. RUBA continues to recommend timely reconciliatin of ANTHC billing reports with the customer ledgers on file at the place of receipt - the city office. Staff utilizes QuickBooks accounting software for payroll processing, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. A cash receipts system is in place in the form of manual receipts books. Cash disbursement is tracked by staff using a check register and QuickBooks. The administrator utilizes a spreadsheet provided by RUBA for water/sewer monthly financial reporting and continues seeking QuickBooks training. RUBA recommends monthly reconciliation all bank accounts and continued review of budgeted expenditures prior to procurement.

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 administrator and city clerk use QuickBooks accounting software for payroll processing. According to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service on 04/02/10 reported the city is meeting all federal tax obligations. On 03/23/10 the Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) reported the city is meeting Alaska ESC tax obligations for the quarter ending 12/31/2010.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
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.
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
The city's employer's notice of insurance through AMLJIA shows coverage for a one-year period ending July 1, 2010. City staff continues reviewing personnel policy and administrative procedures. The personnel policy appears satisfactory overall but can benefit from a general update; RUBA can assist upon request. The utility provides training opportunities to staff. Employee file management can improve with consistent insertion of standard content including Forms I-9 and W4.

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
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 operates the utility under the authority of a city ordinance. The utility operates under a Provisional Certificate granted by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. The policy making body enforces utility policy. The city administrator and city clerk, both trained and experienced, handle accounting and recordkeeping primarily with QuickBooks accounting software. A certified water operator oversees utility operations. RUBA continues to recommend an alternate water operator be hired and trained to help ensure continuity. the city council meets as required. RUBA recommends assembly and adoption of a basic organizational chart. The policy making body meets as required.

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".
No 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 Water Operator is certified at the OIT level for water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment. Utility staff maintain a preventative maintenance plan that includes an inventory control list and critical spare parts list. RUBA recommends staff ensure the spare parts list is incorporated into the annual budget. RUBA recommends regular safety meetings be held and suggests formation of a safety committee. The utility published its 2007 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) timely. RUBA requests a file copy of the 2008 CCR. According to an ADEC report updated May 2009, the utility is presently on the SNC list for failure to conduct required monitoring for new inorganics. RUBA recommends the city return to compliance by following ADEC instructions concerning sampling requirements. RUBA was in contact with the water operator during the quarter about concerns he voiced related to source water protection. RUBA recommended development of a source water protection plan and identified sources of assistance. RUBA maintains contact with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) project engineer assigned to the community. ANTHC informed RUBA that the sewage lagoon project is presently on track for completion in late summer. Two future projects are planned including a water treatment plant and a water storage tank.