Quarterly Report: 2006, April - June (Q4), Shaktoolik

Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Shaktoolik 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is pumped three miles from the togoomenik River to the pumphouse, where it is treated and stored in a 848,000-galon insulated tank adjacent to the washeteria. A piped water and sewage collection system services most homes. 75% of households have complete plumbing and kitchen facilities. The school is connected to City water, and has received funding to develop a sewage treatment system to serve the entire community. The City burns refuse in an incinerator. The landfill needs to be relocated; the current site is not permitted. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Nome RUBA made an on-site visit to the community on April 11-14. Budget training was provided, as well as with payroll quarterly tax reports. City clerk Rita Auliye and alternate clerk Ellen Hunt were trained. FY '04 Certified Financial Statement was completed, which made the city eligible to receive $15,000 PILT money. All the money had been dedicated to pay for the city's electricity bills, including sanitation infrastructures. The city owed at least $16,000 past due electricity account. The $50,000 sanitation project by VSW to put insulation on top of the water tank is on hold because of slow responses made by the city. Although the city clerk has been trained by RUBA with payroll recordkeeping, quarterly tax reports, budgeting, monthly financial reports, using Quicken, etc., she has not responded to written requests to provide revenue figures and monthly financial reports. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The city clerk will need to complete and submit a 'Splits' for the revenues in the Quicken accounting software program and also submit a monthly financial report to RUBA before more training can be provided. Nome RUBA recently requested the information from the clerk with copies of the letter to the city council. RUBA has not received the information requested yet.
Essential Indicators:
13 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
8 of 27
Total Score:
21 of 53


Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
No 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.
No YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
A council member still does the budget for the city even though the city clerk has been taught by RUBA how to do budgets. The alternate clerk was taught too. The city has a realistic utility budget, but collection has not been that good. It was about 79% when RUBA looked into it during the on-site visit. It hasn't been that good since the commercial herring season was very poor last spring. Customers usually pay off their w/s utility bills after the season. The city was able to pay off the utility's electric bill when RUBA visited to train the clerk how to complete a budget and certified financial statements. The city has purchased fuel using SMEAP money, as it comes up short with its own revenues. The utility barely covers expenses with the revenues it receives from customers. Monthly manager's reports have never been made. The city council usually asks RUBA for assistance with budget amendments.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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
No A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.
No Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
No 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 manually completes w/s utility bills and sends them out on monthly basis. The clerk does not aggresively use collection procedures. The city clerk attended the basic Quickbooks Pro workshop held in Nome, but still uses Quicken. The city uses NEBS accounts receivable system to record revenues received. RUBA taught the clerk how to keep payroll records and calculate payroll taxes using Excel spreadsheets. The system is fairly accurate. Quicken is presently being used with chart of accounts (COA). Monthly bank reconciliations are done using Quicken. A check use procedure was established to keep track of what the check is going to be used for.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No The utility is current on filing tax reports.
No The utility is current on making tax deposits.
No 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 clerk, who had previously been taught how to do quarterly tax reports, went to Nome to attend a Regional Conference workshop sponsored by Kawerak, Inc., and left the alternate city clerk to do the IRS Form 941 and ESC quarterly tax reports. The problem was that the alternate clerk did not know how to do the reports, so she asked RUBA for assistance.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No The utility has a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation, job training/oversight, and evaluations.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The city currently cannot afford insurance or workers' compensation coverage. RUBA staff is working with the city to draft job descriptions for all the city employees. The city has personnel evaluation procedures but will need to revise them. We are also working on personnel filing system, using a utility filing system developed by RUBA. We also are developing hiring procedures, including probationary period process. We have a training program set up by RUBA for the utility clerk.

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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
N/A The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No 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 council will need to strictly enforce collections for the w/s utility customers as the collection rate is below minimum amount. The city clerk is kind of difficult to teach as she seems to avoid doing the work that she is suppose to do. She usually leaves it to other untrained alternates. She has asked for pay raise although she is one of the best paid clerks in the region. The utility operator is OIT certified with Water Distribution and Water Treatment. He is being trained by RMW for the level sufficient for the city's w/s utility system. The city currently does not have an organizational chart, but RUBA is working with the city on that.

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
No 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.
No The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
No 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.
No 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.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The mayor or utility clerk do not get O and M report fro the utility operators. There is no known safety manual or safety meetings held on a regular basis. There has not been any major problems with the system as the water tanks and septic tanks are owned by the individual customers. The city has not submitted a CCR since 2003. It is also on the SNC list for LT1 OR SWTR-Filtered and State 1 list. It does not have an inventory control or critical spare parts lists. Nome RMW is planning an on-site visit in mid-June to work with them on this issue. The w/s utility operator is Water Distribution and Water Treatment OIT certified. The other one is Wastewater Collection, Wastewater Treatment and Water Distribution OIT Certified.