Quarterly Report: 2006, April - June (Q4), Koyuk

Community:
Koyuk 
Staff:
 
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Koyuk 
Population:
350  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/26/2006 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Koyuk operates the water and sewer system and maintains a central watering point for residents to haul their own water. There are honeybucket pits but no sewage lagoon. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. A piped water and sewer system was recently completed for the West side of town, serving 51 households. The east loop system is under construction. The school has requested funding to connect to the new sewer system, since its septic effluent is posing a health hazard. DEC has approved the landfill for use, although it is not permitted. Funds have been requested to construct a new water plant and small washeteria. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
A letter of introduction was sent to the City Council regarding the change in RUBA staff assignments. RUBA staff also expressed interest in traveling to the community upon request to provide training and technical assistance to Utility staff. The Utility Clerk successfully completed a RUBA sponsored Introduction to QuickBooks workshop in Nome the week of May 22-26, 2006. Assistance was provided to the Utility Clerk with water and sewer ordinance amendments clarifying disconnection and reconnection fees and with Regulatory Commission of Alaska certification. Nome RUBA staff was informed by Alaska Village Electric Cooperative(AVEC)in mid-June that the City of Koyuk and Koyuk Utilities owe a total of $22,810 for electric service through April 2006. The Utility Clerk informed RUBA staff they hope to get current once the City receives $40,000 in State Revenue Sharing. In the interim, Nome RUBA staff advised Utility Clerk to initiate a payment agreement with AVEC. The Remote Maintenace Worker made a site visit this quarter to troubleshoot the washeteria well and inspect the sewer service line for the washeteria building.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Travel to Koyuk to meet City Council members and administration, work on utility ordinance revisions, review current financial reports and FY07 budget.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
22 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 24
Total Score:
46 of 51

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.
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
N/A The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources sufficient to cover operating expenses and Repair & Replacement (R) costs.
N/A YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
N/A 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
We don't know quite yet if raising the residential water/sewer utility rates to $70 a month will be able to cover the expenses, but it will be very close. Some of the customers are very angry about this, but the council has been telling the public that rates need to be increased to have the utility pay for itself. The city's total debt has risen to about $75,000 due to lack of revenues. About $47,000 of it is to Crowley Marine for purchase of 17,000 gallons of fuel oil last spring. Most of the fuel is used for utility operation. The city has been trying to borrow money from AEA's Bulk Fuel Revolving Loan Program to pay off Crowley, but AEA needs some type of collateral because of city's negative loan history with AEA.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
There has been little headway made with the effort to collect $90,000 past due accounts for the utility. One strategy is to take the utility customers to small claims court. The utility clerk is also making efforts to contact the utility customers to remind them that services were provided and that they need to pay.

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.
No 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
Despite financial difficulties, the utility is making efforts to pay and submit reports in timely manner.

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 utility clerk was able to attend the Introduction to Quickbooks class thanks to Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation paying for airfare, lodging, and meals. In the past, the utility has been too cash-poor to send in someone for the much needed workshop trainings sponsored by the RUBA program.

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.
No 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 new mayor and the new council didn't wait long to pass the new utility rates for residents. The new rate for residents is $70 a month. Nome RUBA staff had recommended that the rates be gradually raised, starting from $55 a month, etc., but the council decided to go ahead and start at $70 a month. This may work out okay even with the negative public opinion as the public may realize that the w/s utility enterprise needs to pay for itself.

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
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