Quarterly Report: 2014, January - March (Q3), Shungnak

Community:
Shungnak 
Staff:
Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
Kotzebue regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
Northwest Arctic Borough 
Agreement?
Yes 
Agreement Date:
4/1/2012 
Entity:
City of Shungnak 
Population:
294 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment N/A 
Assessment Date:
8/30/2012 
Exp Date:
4/1/2014 
Last Updated:
4/3/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Shungnak operates the piped water and wastewater system. The city council is the policy making board for the utility. As of April 1, 2011, Shungnak entered into a billing assistance program with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). The water infiltration gallery was destroyed by ice several years ago and needs replacement. A reservoir is filled intermittently from the Kobuk River. A portable pump fills a 200,000-gallon steel storage tank through 1,110 feet of buried arctic pipe. Currently, the city has a new 200,000 gallon tank connected to the new water treatment plant. Groundwater wells have proven unsuccessful; however, they are still drilling to find a new groundwater source. Piped water and wastewater services are provided to 53 homes (those at the top of the bluff), clinic, school, and community building. Shungnak has a six-inch buried gravity wastewater main, which drains into a small, diked lake one-half mile northwest of the city. The wastewater main, lift station, and manholes were replaced last summer. The effluent is chlorinated before discharge. ANTHC began work on the new wastewater lagoon last summer, but do not have enough funding to complete the project. The new water tank and treatment plant projects are completed. A project to replace a portion of the community aged water and wastewater mains and services is complete. A new waste heat recovery system for the water treatment plant and other community buildings is currently under construction. Construction of service lines to five new Northwest Inupiat Housing Authority homes funded by the housing authority is complete. ANTHC is moving forward with additional water and wastewater design/construction efforts. As of September 1, 2013, Shungnak became an ARUC community. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On March 3, LGS staff traveled to Shungnak to provide training and assistance to the administrator. Upon arrival LGS staff noted that the 2013 W-2’s were not handed out to employees yet and the 2012 W-2’s had not been amended to show the 4.2 percent social security deduction instead of the 6.2 percent. For the next two days worked LGS staff worked with the administrator to get the year-end tax reports balanced and sent out. The administrator had not completed the Northwest Arctic Borough revenue sharing application in the amount of $27,000.00. The administrator requested LGS staff assistance in completing it so the city fuel bill could be paid. LGS staff assisted in completing it by typing up a resolution to have the council approve. LGS staff met with the water plant operator and assisted to find maps of the underground sewage line since he reported a leak as seen on the roadway. They went to repair that leak immediately. On March 5, LGS staff worked with the administrator to balance the year-end tax reports to the W-3 and amend three 941 reports to balance. In addition, LGS staff assisted to complete the FY 15 revenue sharing application, and the Northwest Arctic Borough village police reimbursement report form. The post office in Shungnak had been closed due to employee illness for the last week so LGS staff took the envelopes for the Social Security Administration, amended 941 reports, and their community revenue sharing application to mail from Kotzebue. LGS staff will follow through to make sure that the W-2’s were mailed to all employees Kotzebue staff contacted the administrator to make sure she got the Mayors signature on the resolution they passed in order for the borough revenue sharing packet presented to the borough to be complete and funds disbursed. Kotzebue staff then was in contact with the borough staff working on Shungnak's borough revenue sharing packet who needed copies of invoices to pay. Kotzebue staff then faxed over the needed paperwork to complete the file.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Kotzebue staff will work with the administrator to get her taxes caught up and prepare for the summer construction.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 27
Total Score:
49 of 53

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
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.
No 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
All revenues and expenditures are listed in the utility balanced budget. Currently Shungnak's collection rate is at 71 percent. ARUC provides monthly financial reports to the council and is current in paying their electric bill and funding is set aside to pay for the purchase of fuel they fly in throughout the year. Although there is a reserve for repair and replacement costs it does not contain sufficient resources for major problems. The monthly report shows that their expenses exceed their revenues. ARUC increased the monthly water and sewer rate to $140.00 on October 1, 2013. A monthly manager's report is prepared and given to the council.

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 administrator reports that customers are billed on a regular basis by Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). The city has adopted a collection policy; review of the city council minutes and account receivables confirm the council actively follows it. Kotzebue RUBA staff confirmed on-site that cash receipts, cash disbursements and payroll are recorded manually onto Northwest Arctic Borough Accounting system ledgers. The budget is used as a chart of accounts. Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed. The utility has a purchasing system in place that requires approval prior to purchases and compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts.

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.
N/A 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
Kotzebue RUBA staff has received the completed tax authorization forms that deems ARUC compliant with taxes paid to IRS and DOL. The city owes Dept. of Labor for the 4th quarter tax report. Kotzebue staff forwarded the information from DOL showing the amount due. The administrator will make the payment this week.

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 has been renewed through June 2014 and has been paid in full. The council adopted personnel policies that were reviewed by Alaska Municipal League (AML) and includes a hiring process. The evaluation process are tied to the job description. Personnel folders reviewed by RUBA staff contain I-9 forms, job applications, and letters of acceptance. The city provides orientation, job oversight, and evaluations on all employees and provides training opportunities.

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 council has given operation and maintenance of their utility to ARUC. ARUC has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current organizational structure. The administrator has worked for the city for over 20 years and handles all the bookkeeping and attends the RUBA sponsored course offered. The operator has a certificate for water treatment and recently completed certification for wastewater. The council meets as required, complying with the Open Meetings Act.

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 main operator is certified for Wastewater Lagoon. ARUC plans to work toward getting both operators certified. The administrator routinely spot checks utility facilities and meets with the operator to make sure that routine maintenance is being completed and that the utility is operating at the level proposed. The operator reports that he does maintain an inventory and critical spare parts list. The water utility has distributed the Consumer Confidence Report and is not on the Significant Non-Compliance list.