Quarterly Report: 2007, October - December (Q2), Goodnews Bay

Community:
Goodnews Bay 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Goodnews Bay 
Population:
238  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
1/23/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The Native Village of Goodnews Bay operates a washeteria central watering point, provides for honeybucket haul, and has a sewage lagoon. The tribe, the policy making body for the utility, assumed water/sewer utility management in August 2005. Currently, treated well water is hauled from the watering point at the washeteria/clinic facility. Most homes are currently not plumbed. A piped water and gravity sewer system with plumbing for 70 + homes is under construction. The project funding will plumb homes including installation of fixtures. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The village council, the operator of the honey bucket haul system, washeteria, and watering point, opted to participate in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation-(YKHC) Rural Utility Cooperative (RUC) program on or about October 1, 2006. RUC now manages the water/sewer system on the council's behalf. The council's participation in the RUC program may facilitate resolution of deficient RUBA assessment indicators and help keep the ANTHC-led project on track. During the quarter, community officials informed RUBA that RUC is experiencing less than a fifty percent collection rate on customer payments. Earlier in the fall, RUC mandated customers pay a twelve-month advance on their utility service in the amount of $480 due October 1, 2006. The village administrator is hopeful customers will pay now that many have received AK Permanent Fund dividend checks. RUBA offered to provide another RUBA Assessment of Management Indicators and awaits RUC's response. YKHC also assumed Goodnews Bay's Remote Maintenance Worker services from the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation. RUBA can assist the tribal council upon request and will maintain contact with RUC concerning RUBA assessment planning. In city matters, the city applied a portion of their Small Municipality Energy Assistance Program funding to the water/sewer utility for past due Alaska Village Electric debt. The city hired a city administrator, who was subsequently placed on a part-time, temporary basis, while a full-time administrator is being recruited. The city is struggling financially, sees little revenue from gaming operations, and plans to increase office rental rates. The city is presently paying for its insurance on a monthly basis. At the request of the mayor, RUBA traveled to Goodnews Bay December 14-15, 2006 to provide a workshop on roles and responsibilities for city council members and to assist new and temporary city staff in the city office. The status of RUBA indicators listed below represent capacity measures prior to RUC management and are intended to show historical status for informational purposes until a RUBA Assessment is completed for RUC in Goodnews Bay.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with the water/sewer utility and the YKHC RUC and will plan to conduct a RUBA Assessment of Management Capacity Indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
7 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
25 of 54

Finances

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.
No The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
No 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
The village council did not adopt a utility budget and did not produce monthly financial reports. RUBA shared draft budgets and bookkeeping recommendations with staff with a focus on payment of debt including late federal taxes and ANTHC utility billing service debt. Utility debt had continued to grow but the city paid the AVEC debt on the village council's behalf. Water/sewer utility collections are reportedly improved over prior quarters.

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.
No A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
No 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.
Yes 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
Utility billing through ANTHC was consistent; however, collections were reportedly low. The utility's accounts receivable system is in place but was not consistently reconciled with ANTHC's customer records. The payroll system calculates pay and taxes accurately but the utility still owes federal taxes for prior quarters. The utility maintains a workers compensation policy that is being paid via installments. Both the cash receipt and disbursement systems are not consistently used.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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 utility's payroll is now managed by the centralized village council accounting staff. The payroll system accurately calculates and tracks payroll but past due tax debt remains. In prior quarters, staff worked with the IRS to establish a payment plan.

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.
No 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
Workers compensation insurance costs are now being paid on an installment arrangement.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
No The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
No 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
In prior quarters, the council began to enforce utility collections more consistently. The village council's accounting staff is well-trained and use QuickBooks Pro. The council had not etablished a utility ordinance but anticipates RUC will provide a sample ordinance.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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 primary water operator possessed an ADEC certificate and a backup operator is on staff. The water treatment plant utilizes a preventative maintenance plan. The utility can improve operations by adopting a preventative maintenance plan for the laundry and honeybucket haul operations. The operators provide reports to the utility manager and receive support from a Remote Maintenance Worker based at Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.