Quarterly Report: 2010, April - June (Q4), Huslia

Community:
Huslia 
Staff:
 
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Huslia 
Population:
255  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/17/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City Council operates the piped water and sewer system and maintains a central watering point (no fee) where residents come to haul water to their residences. The city also maintains a sewage lagoon and a solid waste site. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA has little contact with the city. The city administrator/utility administrator has been in the position for over 20 years and is extremely self sufficient. The utility recognizes the need to increase the utility rate; it is $75 with $5 being applied to a repair and replacement fund. The administrator is contemplating an increase to $100 a month, hopefully that will not jeopardize the 95% collection rate. The mayor signed three quitclaim deeds to the tribe on May 4, 2010 transferring all city property to the tribe. The city/utility administrator became aware of the issue on June 25 and RUBA staff advised that she consult the city codes and the city attorney as the mayor (generally) does not have the authority to sell or transfer property. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
None currenlty scheduled.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 27
Total Score:
51 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.
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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Financial reports were received on June 25, 2010. The expenses are greater than the income by $273 but June payments have not all been received. The year to date revenue and expenses are below what was budgeted. The budget is balanced, although, it appears that actual income will be short of the budget by $25,000. Any shortfall that the utility experiences is covered by the State of Alaska Revenue Sharing money that the city appropriates to the utility.

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 and the city use QuickBooks and are able to calculate payroll. Bills are sent out monthly and the utility tracks the accounts receivables. The city has a collection rate of 95%.

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
The Internal Revenue Service deem the city and utility compliant as of June 22, 2010. The city is compliant with the Alaska Department of Labor as of June 30.

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 is current with its workers compensation policy through AML-JIA, online verification on June 22 confirmed that the workers compensation policy is in effect. AML also assisted in the creation of the personnel policy manual which was shown to me for review. The city and utility have very stable staff, the most recent hire was for a janitor position six years ago. The city administrator attends RUBA sponsored trainings in Fairbanks.

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
Resolution 2009-05 for AMLJIA updated the risk management services and cooperative agreement. The city owns the utility as established in ordinance. Currently, there are two washeterias and water treatment facilities. As stated previously, a new system was built and brought online in October 2008 but that system is still in the final phases of being signed over to the city. The city planed on shutting the older facility down the summer 2009 but that did not occur. The administrator indicated that VSW will shut it down the summer 2010. The city council is the policy making body for the utility and is active in making policy and enforcing the current policy (this is supported by a high collection rate). The utility manager and bookkeeper functions are fulfilled by Elsie Vent who is also the city administrator. She is highly capable; the office is extremely organized, she has been employed by the city for a long time, she has attended previous RUBA classes and the books for the utility are in order. A copy of the utility ordinance, which gives it the authority to operate, is on file in the Fairbanks office . The city council, as the utility policy making body, meets monthly and the meetings are open to the public. A copy of the organizational chart was hanging on the city wall and a photo copy was made. The utility has two employees and the city has three employees, it is a very streamlined organization. There are two gentlemen who are training to become certified water operators to work as on-call alternates.

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 utility is on the most recent SNC list (last updated May 2010) for a violation in September 2009. The operator, Emil Sam, is currently certified with water treatment and distribution level 1 certificates which expire December 31 2009 and 2010, respectively. He also has a wastewater collection OIT certificate and that expires the end of 2010. There are two alternate operators, Daryl Sam and Mike Simon, who have their OIT certificates in treatment and distribution and are currently going through the process to become level 1 certified to work as needed. A preventative maintenance plan was created in 2001 (it is a 20 year plan) by the engineering firm Montgomery Watson. This plan is large and a copy was not made but it was inspected by RUBA, it is currently housed next to the administrator's computer for easy access. The operator provides frequent updates to the manager both in person and over the phone. The manager/administrator then reiterates the information to the council at the monthly meetings. Both reports are provided orally and the summary is recorded in the meeting minutes. The administrator attends safety meeting telephonically and then mails the lesson to each employee. The new utility is functioning as designed except that the administrator mentioned the new wells have frozen in the extreme cold. The wellhead is not located inside the treatment facility, as is the case with the old utility. It is the opinion of the administrator that this is a design flaw. The temporary freeze has not yet effected production. As the structure has not been signed over from ANTHC, negotiations to work out the kinks are occurring. The utility has an inventory and critical spare parts list for the old plant but the new lists are still being created. Devan Currier, ANTHC engineer, said in a phone call that he is creating them for the new plant.