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

Georgianna Phillips  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Deering 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Deering operates the piped sewer and water haul system, as well as the central washeteria. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. Water is derived from the Inmachuk River; it is treated and pumped to a 400,000-gallon insulated storage tank. Residents pay to have water delivered to their homes. The sewage system is a vacuum system that is piped to a lagoon. A new washeteria, water treatment plant, and sewage collection lines are completed. An additional water storage tank was completed in 2006 and upgraded lines from the tanks to the water treatment plant have been completed. The City has a DEC permit for the sewage lagoon, but DEC wants them to update it to reflect design changes made during construction. RUBA is working with the engineer and DEC to allow time for an in depth study to determine whether the system can be fixed, or needs to be replaced. The feasibility study stands at approximately 65% complete and VSW is concerned with the appearance of a cave-in in the Sewage Lagoon. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Kotzebue RUBA staff and a DCRA QuickBooks contractor traveled to Deering May 16-18 to provide onsite assistance with QuickBooks accounting problems and an update of the city's code of ordinances. While the QuickBooks contractor and city staff began the task of bank reconciliation, RUBA staff searched through council minutes for adopted ordinances that affected the Deering code book. RUBA staff was able to find a copy of the code book with which to work and inquired if they were able to recover any ordinances from a previous computer; city staff was unable to do so. Materials were gathered for updates to the code from minutes and ordinances and resolutions of the council were noted and filed in proper order. RUBA staff also organized and implemented current fiscal year files and organized the work flow for accounts receivable. The QuickBooks contractor stressed the importance of copying the checks before depositing them in order to verify amounts when reconciling bank statements. RUBA staff demonstrated the updated filing system with city staff and will continue to assist with the city code updates. RUBA assistance following the onsite visit consisted of: working with the administrator on the budget process and time frame, review of the sales tax receivables and drafting a sample resolution for a legislative grant to purchase heavy equipment for the city. Kotzebue RUBA staff also provided assistance to the community on several deficient RUBA essential indicators.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff to provide assistance with the city code to update and review and continue to assist the administrator with QuickBooks.
Essential Indicators:
23 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
41 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.
No 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.
No YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
No YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
After QuickBooks training the administrator is working to correct entries and reporting that all entries now made are current. The city is now able to produce current financials to report to the council. The electric bills with Ipnatchiaq electric are past due and arrangements have been made to pay the electric company through the rents due the city and with the sales tax collected for the city.

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 utility has adopted a collection policy through ARUC/ANTHC as they are currently on Assisted billing with them for their sewer and do notifiy customers of past due bills. Disconnection notices are being sent to the customers. The customers are billed for water on a regular basis by using quickbooks. Currently ARUC bills for the Sewer Utility and the City does the Water and Garbage. Since the City makes deliveries by the gallon there was not a system in which it would be feasible for ARUC to bill customers. They also use quickbooks for accounts payable, payroll, cash receipts and cash disbursement that records incoming money and how it was spent. They use their budget as the chart of accounts reconciling their transactions monthly. The city has an purchasing system that require approval prior to purchase to budgeted amounts.

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.
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 city utilizes quickbooks to accurately calculate, track and report payroll tax liabilities. Per completed tax authorization form, they are current in filing tax reports, making deposits and have no lien 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.
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
The city has paid in full their workmens compensation which is posted in the city office building effective until July 2011. The city has adopted a personnel policy that has been reviewed by AML, along with adequate job descriptions. Their policies has an adequate hiring process has a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation and job training but no known evaluations were found on file as well as letter of acceptance. Currently the City employees an Administrator and Water Treatment Plant operators.

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.
No 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 known entity who oversees the utility who adopted ordinances to give it authority with an organizational chart that reflects the current structure. The administrator has reported that four (4) accounts are slated for disconnect with a possibility of one (1) more. Since working with ARUC on assisted billing the city is following policy on past due bills and disconnections. When they do meet, they comply with the open meetings act which includes posting the meeting notices at three public places at least five days in advance. The administrator has gone through training with a QuickBooks trainer. Currently the city administrator is advertising for a water treatment plant operator and an alternate. The current operator will resign due to health reasons. The administrator expects to hire one by mid July.

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 City of Deering is no longer listed on the SNC list as of April 2011 SNC list report. No new information on the hardware of this WTP. The new administrator does spot check the facilities to make sure that maintenance is being completed and receives a report from the operator who assures that his inventory and critical spare parts list is maintained. Currently the city has and is advertising for an operator, one as a permanent and another as an alternate. The city has a safety manual and the administrator discusses with the operator any safety issues that may have arisen. No known outages due to management issues so they are operating a the level of service proposed.