Quarterly Report: 2011, April - June (Q4), Chefornak

Community:
Chefornak 
Staff:
Sandra Modigh  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Chefornak 
Population:
475  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/3/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Chefornak provides twelve watering points and a well for a water treatment plant; residents haul from various watering points. Only six homes have plumbing. Fifty residences use honey buckets; twenty-four homes use tank haul. The school well is inadequate as the water is too salty. Infrastructure improvements are underway, including a washeteria -- the community wants a piped system. Electricity is provided by Naterkaq Light Plant. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff has been working with administration to set a date for an on-site RUBA Assessment since March 2011; however a date has not been established. The city has routinely provided the utilities weekly safety meeting reports and city council meeting minutes. Correspondence dated June 28, 2011 indicated the city has not filed IRS 941 information returns for the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2010. Email correspondence with the Alaska Department of Labor dated June 24, 2011, indicated the community is current with its employment security compensation tax payments and deposits. The community was not on the March - April 2011 Lien Watch Report. A June 29, 2011 phone conversation with Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA) indicated that the city's workers compensation insurance policy is paid in full for coverage through July 1, 2012.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with the city's administration in securing a date to conduct an on-site assessment and will assist the community in meeting non-compliant indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
23 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
50 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
No 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 subsidizes their water and sewer department through gaming activities, a two percent sales tax, Community Revenue Sharing (CRS) and PILT funds. Therefore, the community's RUBA assessment is based on the entire city budget. A FY 2011 budget and accompanying resolution was passed on July 19, 2010 in the detailed format provided in Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) City Budget Manual. However, its FY 2011 budget does not include payroll taxes for eight departments (administration, police water, streets and roads, electric utility, water and sewer, garbage and landfill sewer, land planner and bingo) which have salary line items. The city provided RUBA staff monthly financial reports for the month of April 2011. However, the financials provided are for the utility only. Since the assessment is based on the city's entire budget, financials for all departments is required for RUBA compliance. Additionally, the current monthly financial format does not include revenues. Monthly financial templates have been provided to the city by RUBA staff to assist the community in meeting the essential indicator. Meeting minutes from the April 2011council meeting document that monthly financial reports are reviewed by the city's governing body; however they do not reflect the revenues. Electricity is provided by Naterkaq Light Plant, an enterprise owned by the city. The city pays for electric for its water building, the city garage, and a Village Safe Water camp. The city received a bulk fuel delivery of 34,000 gallons of diesel # 1 from Delta Western on September 25, 2010. The fuel and delivery was paid by passing a reassignment resolution directing thirty-seven percent of their FY 2011 Community Revenue Sharing and PILT funds to Delta Western.

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 city's collection policy is included in their water and sewer ordinance adopted January 21, 2009. The city bills the school, clinic and CE2 on a monthly basis. All customers pay up front for their water service purchase of tokens. The administrator has changed the manual system to an automated system, saving time and money expended previously. QuickBooks is in place and now it is easier to maintain accounts, calculate payroll, and keep records of all transaction. The administrator is providing training to other office employees on the use of QuickBooks. With the cash receipt system, a cash exchange is done with the Native Corporation, who also sells water tokens for the city, and a customer ledger is in place for all transactions. A computer system with QuickBooks is in place to monitor cash disbursement. A customer ledger is posted on the wall with payment due dates listed for honey bucket haul. The administrator performs monthly reconciliations of all accounts. The purchasing system approval process is setup so that any purchases over $200 must be approved by the city council and any purchases less than $200 are done by the administrator. The utility keeps the financial records using QuickBooks. The utility uses Apple, Dell, and Gateway computers and has currently installed QuickBooks 2009 version. The city has bought two more computers with QuickBooks 2010 upgrade to incorporate with other computer system. All systems are upgraded with QuickBooks 2010. The Chart of Accounts (COA) does identify fixed assets are now posted in QuickBooks. For the billing process, the customer makes a call to find out what they owe.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No 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
Correspondence dated June 28, 2011 indicated the city has not filed IRS 941 information returns for the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2010. Email correspondence with the Alaska Department of Labor dated June 24, 2011, indicated the community is current with its employment security compensation tax payments and deposits. The community was not on the March - April 2011 Lien Watch Report.

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
A June 29, 2011 phone conversation with Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA) indicated that the city's workers compensation insurance policy is paid in full for coverage through July 1, 2012. The utility did have available job descriptions for the utility positions. The utility should periodically review position description to ensure that work performed is current. The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation. The utility maintains personnel folders containing I-9s, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance. The utility has a probation period for new hires, ranging from 90 to 180 days. The utility provides training opportunities to its staff on as needed and available basis. There are written policies for day to day management of personnel.

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
A scanned copy of utility's Water and Sewer Ordinance adopted on January 21, 2009 is on file at Bethel Regional office. The administrator is adequately trained to run the utility and is trained in maintaining the books for the utility. The administrator is also currently training a new utility clerk to help with maintaining the utility account. The operator is Water Distribution Provisional certified and it expires December 31, 2011. He has been in the position more than ten years and knows all procedures for maintaining a water utility. The policy making body meets twice a month for city business and every other month with the Native Corporation and Tribal Council, costing the city $90 per council member for each meeting. The utility complies with the open meetings act of all meetings. The meeting minutes are consistent with meeting minutes guidelines.

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
Because the system is 30 years old and there is no relevant maintenance plan, the operators are using checklists as a maintenance plan to maintain their system. Monthly operation and maintenance reports for the utility operator are being completed, and routine spot checks of the facilities are completed by the manager to see that the maintenance items are being completed. Regular safety meetings are being done and documented. Their last safety meeting was held on June 27, 2011. As of June 28, 2011, the community was not on Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list