Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), Nunapitchuk

Community:
Nunapitchuk 
Staff:
Eli Jacobson  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Nunapitchuk 
Population:
545  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/4/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Nunapitchuk operates the washeteria, water treatment plant, garbage collection, landfill/lagoon, and the flush haul system for the community. The utility services provide water deliveries and septic haul-out to residential customers connected to the flush haul system. Those not connected to the flush haul, utilize the container haul system. Sewage containers are emptied into one of two sewage lagoons (one on each side of the River). The City provides piped water to the school. Teacher's housing, located in the old school, has an independent water and sewer system that still needs improvements. Plans are underway for a piped watering point for the other half of the community located on the other side of the river, and close and fill in old sewage bunkers and lagoon. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff traveled to Nunapitchuk on January 26-27, 2011. RUBA staff met with the city clerk and discussed the essential and sustainable indicators. The city clerk was able to answer questions and provide source documents that demonstrated the city had met most of the essential and sustainable indicators. RUBA staff also toured the water treatment plant and talked to operators Molly Berlin and Charles Alexie. In the afternoon a city council meeting was held, and the RUBA staff was invited to attend to present information. RUBA staff explained the assessment process to the council, and what was needed for Nunapitchuk to meet the remaining essential indicators. RUBA staff met with the city clerk again the next day. A copy of the compliance guide to the indicators, with the remaining unmet essential indicators highlighted was provided to the city clerk. The remaining essential indicators were reviewed in detail. The clerk took notes and developed a plan to try and meet the requirements for the remaining essential indicators. On March 10, 2011 a draft report was sent to Nunapitchuk and on March 30, 2011 the final report was sent. Nunapitchuk has six deficient essential indicators in the areas of finance, taxes, and operations to come into RUBA compliance. RUBA staff remain in frequent contact with Nunapitchuk administrative staff and council by phone, email, fax, and in person in order to help meet the remaining essential indicators.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with the City of Nunapitchuk to help them complete the remaining indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
22 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
14 of 27
Total Score:
36 of 54

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City of Nunapitchuk has completed its FY 2011 budget. The budget was discussed in great detail in the meeting minutes, but there was no evidence of a vote of adoption. The budget has a positive net income and is realistic. The budget has total revenues equaling $780,350 and total expenditures equaling $790,109 for a difference of negative $9759. However, Nunapitchuk has a prior year cash balance of $12,571.80. The enterprise expenditures are listed in expanded form, but the revenues are only in summary form. The enterprise revenue compiles all revenue generated from bingo, pull-tabs, and raffle as well as the utility. This makes it undeterminable whether the utility is being subsidized, or is sustaining itself. The Bethel RUBA office, and the Nunapitchuk city council have not been provided with monthly financial statements since November 2009. A phone call on March 16, 2011 to Alaska Village Electrical Cooperative verified that Nunapitchuk is current on all electrical bills. The city clerk said twelve thousand gallons of fuel had been purchased in September, which is a one year supply. The city council spoke of recently creating a repair and replacement account, but there is no repair and replacement line item in the budget. It is not possible to determine year-to-date expenditures due to the lack of a monthly financial report. The city clerk does not give a monthly report to the council. City council meetings are set for the second and fourth Monday of each month, and budget amendments are adopted as necessary.

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.
No 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 City of Nunapitchuk uses QuickBooks for all accounting processes. Nunapitchuk has a written and adopted utility collection policy. Customers are billed on a regular basis, and an enforcement system is in use to deal with delinquent accounts. Accounts receivable and accounts payable is also done with QuickBooks. A receipt book is used for all customer payments. Receipts are given directly to the customer when payment is received. The documentation in the receipt book is then used to make entries in ledgers and in QuickBooks. QuickBooks is also used for payroll. The city bookkeeper demonstrated, in QuickBooks, the list of vendors, and how the cash disbursements are tracked. Nunapitchuk has not provided bank reconciliations to the RUBA staff to the date of this writing. Purchases over fifty dollars have to be approved by the city council.

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.
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 of Nunapitchuk uses QuickBooks to calculate and report payroll taxes. The Authorization to Request Federal Tax Information form was filled out, and sent to the IRS on March 16, 2011. On March 18, 2011 the IRS stated that Nunapitchuk owes taxes for the third and fourth quarters of 2010. The state Department of Labor (DOL) was contacted on February 22, 2011. DOL verified that Nunapitchuk is current on their Employment Security Contributions account. Nunapitchuk is not on the Lien Watch Report dated January-February 2011.

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.
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
Nunapitchuk's workers compensation insurance is through the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association, Inc for the period from July 1, 2010 through July 1, 2011. A personnel policy has been adopted and is in use. The utility has written job descriptions for all positions. A copy of the city clerk position was provided as a sample. The utility has a written hiring process found in the personnel policy. Personnel folders that include I-9's, job application, and letters of acceptance should be created. The utility has a probationary period with an evaluation after three months. On-the-job training and additional training opportunities are provided as necessary. Staff are encouraged to pursue further 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.
No The policy making body meets as required.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The City of Nunapitchuk owns the utility and the city council is the policy making body and makes sure the policy is enforced. The utility is operated by city employees. The city clerk was hired November 2009 and previously managed the village store for six years. The duties of manager are also performed by the city clerk. Nunapitchuk's bookkeeper and utility clerk both use QuickBooks on a daily basis. The city clerk supervises the bookkeeper, utility clerk, and the operator. Both the city clerk and bookkeeper are interested in obtaining QuickBooks training. They are good candidates and have this writer's recommendation for the training. The operator has been employed for over ten years and is working on her certifications. The ordinances provide the city staff the authority they need for operation. The organizational structure is informally known, but an organizational chart has not been adopted. The policy making body meets the second and fourth Monday of each month which is open to the public. The city clerk said meetings are not posted.

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.
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.
No The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility's operator Molly Berlin is a permanent part-time employee. The operator has been sent to training and is scheduled for additional training. The utility has a written preventative maintenance plan. The city clerk is in daily contact with the utility operator, and receives regular verbal status reports, but does not spot check the facility. The utility should create a safety manual, and hold regular safety meetings. The utility is functioning as intended and no major outages have occurred. The CCR has not been posted or sent out. The city is not on the SNC list. The utility does not have an inventory control, or critical spare parts list.