Quarterly Report: 2007, January - March (Q3), New Stuyahok

Community:
New Stuyahok 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of New Stuyahok 
Population:
461  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/1/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well and is treated. The majority of the community (94 homes), facilities and the school are connected to a piped water and sewer system installed in 1971 and have complete plumbing. Some residents use individual wells and septic tanks; six homes are without complete plumbing. Electricity is provided by AVEC. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA provided onsite assistance to the mayor and utility manager with RUBA Assessment indicators January 22-23, 2007. During the quarter, RUBA provided ongoing assistance to the mayor, water/sewer utility manager, and newly hired city administrator as they continued with efforts to resolve deficient RUBA indicators. The RUBA indicators are one of the grant conditions associated with the city's water/sewer renovation projects. The utility manager is assembling monthly financial reports, proposed a budget amendment expected to be adopted as early as April 11, 2007. Utility collections efforts are being strengthened and debt to entities including the IRS is being addressed by the city. RUBA suggested adoption of a RUBA work plan, a task list intended to serve as an attachment to the RUBA Agreement that the city already signed; the document remains in review at the city. RUBA continues to recommended the city invite agencies including the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, and RUBA to the community to discuss sanitation project planning, funding conditions, and impact on other community infrastructure projects. Late in the quarter, RUBA met with the mayor, utility manager, regional housing authority, school project coordinate, and other agencies including ANTHC on matters related to the failing sewage lagoon system. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA completed additional travel on April 11-12, 2007 adn will maintain contact and provide ongoing assistance at the city's request.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
22 of 22
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 24
Total Score:
42 of 46

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.
N/A 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.
N/A 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
On April 11, 2007 the city council adopted an amended, realistic water/sewer budget that lists all pertinent revenues and expenses. Utility revenues are thought to be covering expenses but RUBA awaits confirmation via a written financial report for the utility. Collections efforts are improving and disconnection of nonpaying customers is planned for April 20. RUBA provided another sample monthly utility financial report format and will maintain contact with staff as they produce a new financial report for the current month; the city's current aggregate monthly financial report does not provide detail for the water/sewer utility. A monthly manager's report is presented at the city council verbally. RUBA recommends a written report also be provided.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A 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 mayor directed staff to more strictly enforce the city's water/sewer ordinance which a collections policy. The utility's past due debt continues to grow but can improve if disconnections and other enforcement methods are applied consistently. RUBA awaits confirmation of improved collections and requested the current monthly financial report to ascertain collections enforcement. The utility bills consistently via ANTHC's billing service. In recent quarters RUBA recommended improved data entry related to accounts receivable, accounts payable, and cash disbursement. RUBA continues to recommended the latest budget be entered into QuickBooks to facilitate year-to-date figures and reporting. The newly hired city administrator attended a RUBA-sponsored QuickBooks training early in the quarter.

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.
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
The city owes the IRS for federal tax associated with one quarter in the prior year but is presently in compliance with tax obligations according to correspondence with the IRS on April 2, 2007.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.
No 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.
No 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 has posted a workers compensation insurance policy that states coverage is valid through July 1, 2007. The city pays for coverage with funds including state energy monies. City staff is presently reviewing personnel policy and administrative procedure samples provided by RUBA.

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.
N/A 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
No 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 operates the utility under the guidance and authority of a city ordinance. The city aims to improve enforcement of the utility's collections policies with disconnections planned for nonpaying customers on April 20, 2007. The Regulatory Commission of Alaska granted a Provisional Certificate for the water and sewer utility in recent quarters. The city administrator and city clerk handle accounting and recordkeeping. The utility manager, a certified water operator, has returned to the water operator role with reduced administrative responsibilities. Backup water operators are still needed.

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 Water Operator is certified at the OIT level for water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment. The utility has encountered what can be characterized as minor system outages, all repaired according to the city. Utility staff maintain a preventative maintenance plan and maintain contact with ANTHC engineers and BBAHC RMW staff. The utility manager also serves as a city council member. The city's sewage lagoon is reportedly failing. City officials continue to monitor the wastewater system and are coordinating efforts with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to address short- and long-term needs. Further, the city is in contact with agencies including the regional housing authority and school district concerning their needs for community water and wastewater services.