Quarterly Report: 2010, October - December (Q2), Saint Michael

Community:
Saint Michael 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Saint Michael 
Population:
445  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/22/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Currently, water is pumped from Clear Lake, approximately 5 miles north of the community and stored in a 1.2 million gallon water storage tank. The water is then pumped from the 1.2 million gallon tank, filtered, disinfected, and stored in a 400,000-gallon water storage tank for consumption. Wastewater is collected at the vacuum plant and pumped via forcemain to a wastewater treatment area northeast of the community. A new sanitation system was completed during the summer of 2005 to provide piped water and vacuum sewer service, and residential plumbing to the homes in the community. At present, 99% of the homes are served by the new system. A washeteria upgrade was completed in 2004 that completely renovated the washeteria. The water treatment plant is under renovation to meet compliance with the Surface Water Treatment Rule and is expected to be completed in 2007.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff traveled to Saint Michael on September 16-18, 2009. The purpose of the trip was to meet with the city council and explain the status of the RUBA Management Assessment. A secondary purpose was to assist the clerk's office in revising the city ordinances. RUBA staff will incorporate the current utility ordinance that gave management and operation of the utility department to Alaska Rural Utilities Collaborative (ARUC). ARUC is a regional utility management service developed to assist communities that are having trouble managing their sanitation services. ARUC took over the utility at the request of the city council on June 1, 2009. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff will travel to the community at least once in the new quarter to work with the administrator and council to present a draft revised code of ordinances. The ARUC water and sewer utility ordinance will be placed in the new code. The ordinance will remain in effect as long as the agreement between ARUC and the city is in place.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
26 of 27
Total Score:
52 of 54

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.
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 has contracted with Alaska Rural Utilities Collaborative (ARUC) to run the city's water and sewer utility department since June 1st, 2009. A comment made by the City of St. Michael bookkeeper was that ARUC is very effective with collections and that she is seeing water and sewer utility customers making efforts to pay their utility bills on time to avoid late fees imposed by ARUC.

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
ARUC has collection procedures in the w/s utility ordinance that are followed closely and strictly enforced. The utility bills are sent out monthly from ANTHC's Anchorage office and payments by customers sent to ANTHC Anchorage office. All employees under the water and sewer utility department are paid by ARUC. The city bookkeeper's old computer has crashed and the city is in the process of purchasing a new computer for her to use.

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
ARUC makes quarterly tax reports directly to IRS and Employment Security Division in a timely manner. ARUC is current with filing tax reports and deposits. It should be noted that The City of Saint Micheal, as owners of the utility, have recorded IRS tax liens in the amount of $88,732. These liens are recorded as of December 2009.

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.
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
Even though all the water and sewer utility department employees are paid by ARUC, the utility uses the city's personnel policies for employee uses and issues. RUBA staff is in the process of working with the city to revise the city's code and the water and sewer utility ordinance will be factored in to the revised code and will be effective as long as the agreement between ARUC and the city is in effect.

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 meets regularly and the w/s utility issues are on the agenda monthly, although the management control has been handed over to ARUC. There are two council seats up for election this year. The city council acts as the utility board. The city held a municipal election but the new city council members have not been sworn in yet due to very busy activities after the elections. Some of the city council members are actively involved to various degree with regional organizations and have not organized yet due to traveling.

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
The w/s utility plant operators are working toward the necessary certifications with RMWs and are attending trainings as required. The city is currently not on the SNC list and the CCR was completed and submitted.