Quarterly Report: 2014, April - June (Q4), Noorvik

Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
Kotzebue regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Northwest Arctic Borough 
Agreement Date:
City of Noorvik 
641 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is pumped from the Kobuk River to the water treatment/utility building, and stored in a tank. From there, a pressurized circulating system distributes water in utilidors. Groundwater wells have proven unsuccessful. Noorvik has a vacuum wastewater system in which waste is carried by air instead of water. Vacuum pressure pumps the wastewater to the 60,000-gallon collection and treatment plant. The system requires special toilets and water valves which collect wastewater from the sinks, toilets and showers. Over 100 homes, the schools and businesses are served. Funds have been requested to connect and plumb the remaining 16 unserved homes on the south side of town and along River Road. For the next quarter, punch list items from the warranty inspection of the WTP upgrade project will be completed. Request final approval to operate from ACED. The water and sewer connection for 2 new BIA HIP homes have been funded, this project is currently under the construction phase. One of the two homes have been served. The tribe will get back with ANTHC to verify a home that meets the eligibility criteria. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Kotzebue staff fielded questions from the Mayor and council regarding personnel issues they are having to deal with regarding use of leave and approval, pay scale and statements made against staff. Kotzebue staff provided the Mayor with the "Open Meetings Act" to read and follow, and asked him to get back with Kotzebue staff if he needs further assistance but that the legal advice from AML needs to be followed. Kotzebue staff contacted the city to remind them of the revenue sharing deadline of June 1st. The city submitted the application yesterday in the mail. On June 24, Kotzebue LGS staff traveled to Noorvik to provide training and assistance to the council and the administrator. Kotzebue LGS staff worked with the administrator in revising portions of the budget that was adopted in May once the FY-15 payroll estimates were completed and reviewed their certified financial statement was reviewed. At 1:00 p.m., that afternoon, the council started their regular meeting. On the agenda was the certified financial statement (CFS) for FY-13 and the public hearing for the FY-15 budget. The meeting ended at 7:00 p.m. that evening and reconvened at 11:00 the next morning when they passed both the CFS and FY-15 budget. In the afternoon of the 25th, Kotzebue staff worked with city staff to complete the last quarter tax report, which was completed. The flight was delayed so Kotzebue staff also prepared a monthly financial report format for the administrator to use beginning July 2014, as requested by the council. Staff departed Noorvik at approximately 5:00 p.m., arriving Kotzebue at 5:40 p.m. and ended travel status at 6:00 p.m.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Kotzebue staff will travel back to Noorvik this next quarter to train the new finance officer once hired.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
26 of 27
Total Score:
53 of 54


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
As shown on the ARUC monthly financial report that is provided to the council on a monthly basis in comparison to their balanced budget, all revenues and expenses are listed showing that all water/wastewater electric bills are current and they had purchased an adequate supply of fuel to last until the next barge season. The utility is receiving user fees sufficient to cover operating expenses. The collection rate is 94% to show that revenues and expenses are at a level equal to those budgeted. The monthlly manager's report shows that no budget amendment is needed at this time.

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 bills customers monthly following their adopted collection policy. The city utilizes QuickBooks to track both receivables and payables. Quickbooks also provides them with an accurate accounts payable system, payroll system to calculate payroll, cash receipts system and a cash disbursements system.

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 city is an ARUC community which has reported no tax lien and that all taxes deposits are made and reports timely.

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 carries the insurance with AMLJIA and works with AMLJIA on employee issues. The city became non compliant with their monthly payment plan to pay off their FY 14 insurance but Kotzebue assisted the city in passing a resolution committing 50,000 of their FY 15 revenue sharing funds to pay AMl/JIA directly. ARUC has insurance coverage until October 2014. ARUC has an legally approved personnel policy and job descriptions for all personnel which they use to evaluate, hire, providing for an probationary period that includes orientation, job training/oversight. ARUC provides training for the water plant operators and city sends administrative staff to RUBA courses as needed.

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 city is the known entity who owns the utility. The city joined ARUC June 1, 2011 giving it authority to operator and maintain their water and sewer systems. ANTHC is providing on-site training to the operator(s)and the administrator as needed. The bookkeeper is new but utilizes the hotline quickbooks assistance via telephone.

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
Noorvik has two opertors. The main operator is certified for water distribution 1 and water treatment 1, the other has a water distribution provisional. The Utility has not suffered any major problems and are operating at the level proposed and are not on the SNC list. The consumer confidence report is current.