Quarterly Report: 2007, January - March (Q3), Golovin

Josephine Bahnke  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Golovin 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Golovin is responsible for the management of the water supply and storage system, as well as water treatment plant and washeteria. In conjunction with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), they are in the process of constructing a community-wide piped water and sewer system. Water is pumped from Chinik Creek, treated, and stored in three heated water storage tanks. A new 1.2 million-gallon water tank has been built, new washeteria is under construction, and a water/sewer project is underway. As of September 15th, 13 homes, the clinic, the school, and a church were hooked up downtown to water and sewer. Since then, 13 more residential connections are receiving water and sewer service bringing the total to 26.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff made two trips to Golovin this quarter. The first trip was on January 30, 2007, and upon arrival Nome RUBA staff learned that the Utility Clerk who planned work for the trip had quit and a council member was filling in. At that time, a year to date financial report was compiled by RUBA staff and presented to the Council. A second trip was made March 27, 2007 to provide on-site assistance to the new utility clerk with monthly financial reports, customer accounts, account receivables, and collections. Staff turnover with qualified Operators continues to be a challenge for the water and sewer utility. During the week of March 5-9,2007, the new Utility Clerk, Tracy Sockpealuk, successfully completed RUBA Financial Management training. Nome RUBA staff received complaints from many residents who are concerned with how the Council is handling conflicts of interest, nepotism, and hiring and firing procedures.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will schedule travel in the next quarter to provide on-site training and assistance to the new Utility Clerk and Council. Tasks include working with Council on joint utility ordinance, revised job descriptions for the Utility Bookkeeper and Clerk and fiscal year 2008 budget.
Essential Indicators:
25 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
17 of 26
Total Score:
42 of 53


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
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.
N/A Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The FY07 budget was adopted on July 11, 2006. Financial management of the new piped water and sewer system is the responsibility of the Utility Clerk. Due to inconsistent information in Quickbooks, Nome RUBA utilized manual records to compile and submit a year to date financial report to the Council during the January site visit. In February, the Council hired Tracy Sockpealuk as the new Utility Clerk. Despite having limited bookkeeping experience, she has proved to be a quick learner. She successfully completed the RUBA Financial Management workshop in Nome the week of March 5-9, 2007. Nome RUBA travelled to Golovin at the end of March to provide on-site assistance to Tracy with monthly financial reports and other utility recordkeeping.

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 Clerk bills water and sewer customers once a month and water customers when their bill reaches $200.00. Utility staff utilizes both a manual and computerized system (QuickBooks Pro).

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 City of Golovin has prioritized regular tax deposits and filing tax reports to avoid penalties and interest. During this last quarter, all but one payment was made in a timely manner. The IRS has deemed them in compliance at this time.

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.
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.
Yes The utility has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least: I-9, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance.
No 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 Golovin has workers compensation insurance through AML/JIA for 2007 and is in good standing. Depite RUBA staff advice to implement a personnel management system in accordance with their policies, the Mayor and Council continue to spend most of their meetings dealing with employee grievances regarding unpaid wages, nepotism, and unjustified termination.

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.
No 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 is the policy making body for the utility. Presently, the utility does not have a manager. The duties of the manager are being performed by a Utility Clerk. Organizational structure changes were made last fall and it has enabled the City to run the new water and sewer and electric utility more efficiently. This included transferring the Utility Clerk position to the Golovin Power Utility which has created a combined billing process for the electric and water/sewer enterprise. At the request of the Council, RUBA staff is working on a joint utility ordinance that includes the formation of a utility board. Last quarter, both Operators resigned due to non-payment of overtime wages incurred during water pumping season. Despite the Mayor allowing the Operators to work additional hours, timesheets were not signed so the Operators quit. This quarter, a primary and secondary Operator were hired and at the time of this report, the secondary had resigned.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
No 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.
No 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.
No 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
Last quarter, both certified Water Operators quit working for the City due to a dispute with the Mayor regarding compensation for overtime hours reported in August during water pumping season. At present, there is one Operator with no certification who depends on assistance from theRemote Maintenance Worker for reporting and testing. The Operator attended Operator training in Nome during February, but was dismissed for being intoxicated. Many freeze ups were reported by customers during the months of February and March, but it was unclear to the Council if it was a system design issue or customer responsibility. Ultimately, Level 2 certification will be necessary for the new system.