Quarterly Report: 2013, October - December (Q2), Deering

Community:
Deering 
Staff:
Georgianna Phillips  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Deering 
Population:
133  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/8/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Deering operates the piped wastewater and water haul system, as well as a 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 city has purchased additional equipment to facilitate the delivery of water in an efficient manner. The wastewater system is a vacuum system that is piped to a lagoon. Upgrades have been completed to the water treatment plant and wastewater collection lines. The existing infiltration gallery has also been upgraded and these improvements support the existing water haul and vacuum wastewater system. An additional water storage tank was installed in 2006 and lines upgraded from the tanks to the water treatment plant. The city has a current DEC permit for the wastewater lagoon. DEC has requested updates to reflect design changes made during construction. For future installation of water and wastewater upgrades. The draft feasibility study was given to council members for review and is still being reviewed by the engineers. No final edits has been received as of yet. Village Safe Water (VSW) is concerned with the appearance of a cave-in in the Wastewater Lagoon and will look at the study for recommendations.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
ANTHC begain the work to complete the repairs to the waster heat system and was expected to have completed in December provided all parts were received. The city received repayment of the loan provided the electric company as the down payment on the fuel loan. RUBA staff provided a code draft to the city and its attorney for proofing and is expected that the first reading will be held at the February meeting. The city had submitted to the Northwest Arctic Borough their legislative list and one of the items was a request for funding to install piped water to the community. A study for installing a piped water system in the community has and is being reviewed by the council and the borough. Under ARUC, the community collection rate to date is at 28%,the rate for the November report is at 84%. The administrator attributes the low collection rate to customers adjusting to making payments with another entity.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to assist the city with updating the city code and attend their regular council meeting scheduled in February for the introduction/first reading of the draft code. Training is currently scheduled for March for plant operators which is offered through Maniilaq Environmental Health Services.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
27 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 is a partial ARUC community. ARUC bills for the sewer services and those systems connected to the water system. The city subsidizes it water rates for its residents at $15,000 a year in order to keep its rates low.

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 now a partial ARUC community. Disconnection notices are sent to the past due customers. Currently ARUC bills for the wastewater utility and the city invoices those sales of potable water. The city uses QuickBooks for accounts payable, payroll, cash receipts and cash disbursement. The city currently utilizes the bank for issuing payroll and for paying taxes due. The budget is used as the chart of accounts, and transactions are reconciled monthly. The city has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase.

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. Recently has signed an agreement with the bank to issue payroll and to pay the taxes as required. The city currently has signed up for payroll services with the bank currently in use. No tax liens are against the city, they are current in filing tax reports, and making deposits.

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 has renewed its insurance. The city has adopted a personnel policy that has been reviewed by AML, along with adequate job descriptions. The policies include a hiring process and a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation and job training. No employee evaluations or letters of acceptance were found on file. Currently the city's employees are the administrator and the 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.
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 known entity who oversees the utility. The council has adopted ordinances to give it authority to operate. There is an organizational chart that reflects the current structure. At the council meetings the council complies with the open meetings act. Notices for meetings are posted at three public places at least five days in advance. The city has hired a two new operators, both of whom have previously been employed for the city but are not current in their certification. Both will attend training/certification as soon as a class is offered. The main operator attended training and received his certification in water plant electrical systems.

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 City of Deering is on the SNC list for high DBP's, but is doing well on monitoring. Village Safe Water is studying the source water in preparation for designing a new treatment system; no new information has yet been made available. The SNC list indicates a Sanitary Survey was performed in November, but has not yet been submitted by the surveyor. The administrator spot checks the employees and facility to ensure that maintenance work is completed and receives reports on the plant operations from the operator. The city has a safety manual which are discussed with the operator on any safety issues that may have arisen.