Quarterly Report: 2009, January - March (Q3), Goodnews Bay

Community:
Goodnews Bay 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Goodnews Bay 
Population:
235  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/8/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The Native Village of Goodnews Bay, under joint management by the Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative, (ARUC) operates a washeteria central watering point, provides for honeybucket haul, and has a sewage lagoon. The tribe, the policy making body for the utility, assumed water/sewer utility management from a community utilty board in August 2005. Currently, treated well water is hauled from the watering point at the washeteria/clinic facility. Most homes are currently not plumbed. A piped water and gravity sewer system with plumbing for 70 + homes is under construction. The project funding is expected to plumb homes including installation of fixtures. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The Native Village of Goodnews Bay continues jointly managing the water/sewer utility with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative (ARUC). The RUBA Assessment of Management Indicators, a special sanitation grant condition, conducted for ARUC, is updated periodically to reflect the current status of RUBA indicators. The community water-sewer project, led by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), remains underway and is nearing completion. The city is reportedly staffing the washeteria which, according to ANTHC officials, will be closed upon final installation of plumbing into resident's homes and completion of the sanitation project next summer. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with the Native Village of Goodnews Bay and ARUC as they strive to maintain compliance with sanitation grant conditions.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 27
Total Score:
50 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.
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.
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 utility budget is balanced and realistic. ARUC provides a subsidy when customer revenues fall short of expenditures; the subsidy is listed in ARUC monthly financial reports but it does not appear in the budget. ARUC produces monthly financial reports presenting year-to-date activity. According to ARUC on May 4, 2009, year to date utility revenue fell to minus $2,967.50 for the month ending March 2009, the most current month reported even with an ARUC subsidy applied. However, ARUC staff, in recent quarters, indicated customer revenues are anticipated to increase substantially as connection fees are implemented upon project completion reportedly estimated for late 2009. The utility is current on its electric bills and indicates fuel is sufficient for operations. Manager's reports are prepared, and budgets, in prior quarters, were amended as necessary.

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 ARUC bills customers consistently. ARUC operates under an agreement with the village council and a water/sewer ordinance that includes a collections policy. ARUC maintains a workers compensation policy and uses computerized accounting to monitor and track finances. ARUC maintains accounting records including accounts payable, receivable, and payroll under direction of a utility manager based in their central office in Anchorage. ARUC maintains a chart of accounts, reconciles bank accounts, and utilizes 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.
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
According to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service on December 30, 2008, the ARUC is meeting its federal tax obligations. During the quarter, ARUC informed RUBA of contact with IRS concerning resolution of a federal tax matter. On April 7, 2009 the Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed ARUC is meeting Alaska ESC tax obligations for the quarter ending December 31, 2008.

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
Workers compensation insurance coverage, purchased for ANTHC through Alaska National Insurance Company is reportedly current until October 1, 2009. ARUC abides by a comprehensive personnel policy, maintains personnel folders, utilizes a probationary period for new hires, and provides training opportunities to staff.

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
ARUC oversees water/sewer utility management with the village council through a written, contractual agreement, and actively enforces utility policy. According to the agreement, ARUC is to meet with an advisory council that includes representation from the community. A water/sewer ordinance is in place. ARUC continues managing utility billing and collection services. The water operator is trained.

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 primary water operator possesses required certification. The operator utilizes a preventative maintenance plan and provides reports to the ARUC utility manager. According to an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) report dated February 11, 2009, the utility is presently on the SNC list for failure to submit a waiver renewal for SOC/OOC. RUBA recommends resolution of the violation in accordance with recommendations advised by ADEC.