Quarterly Report: 2008, January - March (Q3), Chevak

Community:
Chevak 
Staff:
Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Chevak 
Population:
916  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/7/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Chevak operates the piped water and sewer system, the central watering point and the honeybucket haul. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. Construction began in 1995 to provide piped water and sewer to homes and the school. Completed projects include a new landfill, a washeteria renovation, a new watering point, water treatment plant, a 150,000-gallon water storage tank, sewage lagoon, and a vacuum sewer plant. Water and sewer mains and household connections are completed. Currently they have 193 units on line. Most of the residents except one home are connected to water/sewer. Some homes still have rain catchments. The new school construction was completed in August 2003. The construction company connected the school and teacher housing to the water/Sewer system.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The water/sewer system continues under the management of YKHC/Rural Utility Cooperative (RUC). Monthly financial reports have been received by RUBA. The utility management continues to meet all RUBA essential management capacity indicators at this time. The assessment pertains to only the management of the utilities and not the City of Chevak. A reassessment was completed on January 10,2007 with all essential and sustainable indicators now met. A new City Clerk/Bookkeeper was hired in September. The City administrator is training her on the job. FY 2006 financial records are being reconstructed and once done will be send to Juneau. 11/07/07 RUBA staff was contacted by the City Administrator for the City of Chevak concerning the FY 2006 Certified Financial Statement (CFS). The Administrator started working on the 2006 CFS in May, 2007 and requested RUBA assistance in October. RUBA reviewed the draft financial statement and made recommendations for completing it. The FY 2006 CFS is now complete and sent to Juneau. The 2006 CFS was the last item required to receive Community Energy Assistance Program funds. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA continues to work with the City /RUC toward meeting and maintaining the capacity indicators. This is an on-going process involving support via phone, fax, and on-site visits when necessary.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
54 of 54

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
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
Monthly finance reports are prepared by RUC showing revenues and expenditures for both the Chevak system and the RUC management of the system. This report lists expenses and revenue categories with columns showing amounts for 'This Month' 'Last Month' Year to Date' and Budget. Since the initial assessment in June 2006, and at the recommendation of RUBA, RUC has added a line item for 'Replacement Part Reserve.' Most sanitation funding or regulatory agencies are recommending that utilities show this separately. The Sanitation Business Plan Template requires that utilities account for this separately. Fuel for the utilities is bulk purchased bi-annually. The operators in Chevak self-report fuel consumption. RUC has instigated fuel use efficiency and accountability practices that have substaintially lowered the consumption and expense in the community.

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
All essentials continue to be met. The utility charges flat rates for residential customers. Combined bills for water and sewer ($70/month) are mailed at the end of each month. Commercial rates are $170 per month or $.10/gallon. Payments of money orders or checks only are sent to a lock box at Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo emails a list of payments daily to RUC. Payments of check, money order, cash, or credit card may be paid at the Bethel RUC office. A hand written receipt is issued at time of payment. RUC has installed new meters on several customers which will track water consumption more efficiently. A rate increase of 20% to residents and twelve cents per gallon for metered customers is planned for the very near future. Approximately ten months ago, uncollectible bad debts were written off. Through the Memorandum of Agreement, RUC has the authority to change customer rates. The manager and accountant make recommendations to the advisory board who votes support or non-support of the request. A vote of support is sent on to the YKHC Board of Directors for action.

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
Paper time cards are submitted to YKHC who calculates, tracks and reports payroll liabilities through a computer system. A signed Information for Tax Release Authorization was provided by the YKHC-RUC as the utility is an enterprise system that is included in the YKHC's tax payer EIN number. The IRS deemed the taxpayer in compliance with federal employment tax filings, federal deposits, and noted that no recorded Notice of Federal Tax Lien has been filed. The State Department of Labor office reports the YKHC in compliance at this time. This tax information pertains to the management of the utility only and not the City of Chevak financial management.

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 utility has a posted worker's compensation insurance policy from Alaska National Insurance Company for the period of February 1, 2006 through February 1, 2007. The insurance covers all employees of RUC including the operators in Chevak. All RUC employees follow the YKHC adopted personnel policy. This policy was reviewed by an attorney. Employees are at-will hire. An evaluation is performed at 90 days and one year from hire. The blank evaluation form is attached to the position description and presented to the employee upon hire. All new hires attend a corporate orientation for 2 1/2 days in Bethel for instruction regarding company policies, procedures, and department specific orientation. On-site training is also provided. Job openings are posted, with job titles and duties, in the village at least one week if the manager deems expediency is necessary. Native hire and local hire is encouraged when possible. Applications are submitted to YKHC who will complete the background and reference checks. The personnel policy also allows for temporary hies for short term projects.

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 of Chevak has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with YKHC/RUC to operate the utility. The MOA was signed for two years with option for renewal. YKHC-RUC has an advisory boad that is meets three times a year to recommend policy and procedures via letters of support to the YKHC Board of Directors has the authority to set rates, ordinances, policies, and procedures for the Chevak Utility. The RUC Manager also is diligent in personally attending city council meetings for all RUC communities. Recently RUC hired a progect manager. The project manager/accountant is responsible to oversee the accounting procedures for all RUC communities. YKHC finance department tracks and issues payroll.

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
Copies of operator certification and preventative maintenance plan were submitted and are available upon request. A 'Safety Guidelines for Utility System Opeartor' is provided to all operators. Safety training is provided in conjunction with regularly scheduled opeartions training. YKHC-RUC hires summer interns to complete the CCR reports. An additional assignement to the intern project was the completion of an inventory control and critical spare parts list. RUC maintains a large spare parts inventory. With the stable labor force and frequent Remote Maintenance Worker on-site support, maintenance requirements are minimal.