Quarterly Report: 2012, October - December (Q2), Noorvik

Georgianna Phillips  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Noorvik 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is pumped from the Kobuk River to the water treatment/utility building, and stored in a tank. From there, a pressurized circulating system distributes water in utilidors. Groundwater wells have proven unsuccessful. Noorvik has a vacuum sewer system in which waste is carried by air instead of water. Vacuum pressure pumps the sewage to the 60,000-gal. collection and treatment plant. The system requires special toilets and water valves which collect wastewater from the sinks, toilets and showers. Over 100 homes, the schools and businesses are served. Funds have been requested to connect and plumb the remaining 16 unserved homes on the south side of town and along River Road. Water Treatment Plant improvements were completed and inspected in October with minor issues to complete. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Though the city is still struggling financially, the employees have committed to their jobs and to good fiscal health for the city. The city has not yet paid in full their past due fuel loan and is working towards that goal by aggressively collecting past water, sewer and garbage accounts as well as collecting past due accounts for sales tax. The fuel purchased for the city water treatment plant was ordered and paid for by ANTHC and they have reported that their is enough fuel for the winter. The city has obtained their insurance through AMLJIA and was able to completely pay off the past debt and the new fiscal year policy with the yearly and supplemental revenue sharing program. The revenue sharing funds also aided in paying for the past debt with the IRS and the city is current with their payroll taxes. RUBA staff has worked with the administrator, finance officer, and the city clerk to update financial files, ordinances, resolutions and minutes. The city council revised the chain of command for the city clerk, who is now under the direct supervision of the Mayor and city council. All other staff remain the same. RUBA staff has presented to the administrator a draft city code which will be reviewed before presenting to the council so as to stream line its process. The personnel policies is also under review and updates for presentation to the council. The city council did introduce, adopt as the first reading and set for public and final reading for the next regular meeting in January, 2012 an ordinance which reduced the regular and special meeting fees paid to councilmembers. RUBA Staff held training for Newly Elected Officials and a council member did attend and complete the week long training. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The Northwest Arctic Borough obtained a Legislative grant for the City of Noorvik to construct a storage shed and shop. No construction has been initiated at this time and is expected to be initiated in the summer of 2012. RUBA staff will continue to work with the administrator and city council to update and pass a comprehensive and complete city code and personnel policy. RUBA Staff will also work with the finance officer in completing the cities Certified Financial Statement FY11. The administrator has requested training for the staff in their duties and day-to-day operations.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 27
Total Score:
52 of 54


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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City of Noorvik has adopted a balanced realistic budget listing all revenues and expenses of the utility, With current staff in place, the finance officer has been able to develop reports for the council. The administrator is and has given reports to the council on the day to day activities and financial information. The city continuously is working to collect all past due bills for water, sewer and garbage. As an incentive the city has held a drawing from donated prizes as an incentive for customers to pay on their accounts.

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 utilizes QuickBooks with an accounts receivable system in place to track customers accounts. All of the accounts before joining ARUC are being pursued for full payment. Quickbooks also provides them with an accurate accounts payable system, payroll system to calculate payroll, cash receipts system and a cash disbursements system. The finance officer did not receive any passwords to the cities bank accounts until the month of December as it has been the past practice of the city not to give any passwords to new hires until the probationary period was completed. The fiannce officer did receive the passwords just recently and is completing reconciling bank statements from September forward.

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 uses QuickBooks which accurately calculates, tracks, and reports payroll tax liabilities, and they are current in filing tax reports, and have satisfied their past due IRS debts. Current year taxes are current and the city is also a ARUC community which has reported no tax lien.

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
The City of Noorvik has renewed their insurance with AMLJIA. The city has requested assistance in updating their personnel policies and code. The administrator is currently reviewing the code for correctiveness and updating its personnel policy to reflect current practices as provided for by law. Current job descriptions are on file. For all new hires, the administrator and finance officer are ensuring that complete employee records as well as all required state and federal forms are on file.

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
The city is the known entity by ordinance who owns the utility and has joined ARUC as of June 1, 2011.

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 Utility has not suffered any major problems that are unresolved so they are operating at the level proposed and have completed their consumer confidence report. They are currently on the SNC list for Copper first draw exceedence. A new direct filtration system was approved as interim operational which was issued in May 2011 and extended until August 2012 so that an operator can be trained and the system can be assured to meet treatment requirements. DEC is working with ANTHC on anaylzing turbidity data to verify performance. ANTHC worked with the city in submitting an AEA Round 5 grant application for $115,000 for a heat recovery feasibility study.