Quarterly Report: 2014, July - September (Q1), Shageluk

Community:
Shageluk 
Staff:
Fred Broerman  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Shageluk 
Population:
83  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/10/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Shageluk has about forty homes, all of which use honeybuckets and pit privies to dispose their waste. Residents haul water from the community's single watering point at the washeteria/water treatment plant. There is no charge for the water. The washeteria/water plant was built around 1994 and is owned and operated by the city. Ten HUD houses constructed in 1991 have flush and haul wastewater capabilities but the city's waste hauling apparatus is not operational. The community's post office, clinic, city building, and washeteria have piped water and wastewater. The school is also connected to the city's wastewater lines but has its own well; but the water from the well can only be used for washing and cleaning. Drinking water is hauled daily to the school from the water treatment plant. The community's electric utility is Alaska Village Electric Cooperative. Zho-Tse Inc, the tribal corporation, is the community's fuel vendor. Fuel is delivered via barge by Ruby Marine. The city operates and maintains the community's landfill. A July 2, 2013 phone conversation with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's engineer assigned to Shageluk indicated the city is being considered for construction funding from USDA Rural Development (RD, $3.73 million) and Village Safe Water (VSW, $1.24 million) to provide water and wastewater service for residents on Hamilton Street. The Project AN-13-T53 was set aside as FY13 funding, with construction scheduled to start in the summer of 2014. However, the release of construction funds depends on the city being RUBA compliant. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
From June 22 to July 2, 2012 Bethel DCRA staff assisted the City of Shageluk's administrative staff in drafting their FY13 Budget and FY11 Certified Financial Statement (CFS), as well as preparing accompanying budget ordinance, Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and CFS resolutions. The city's recently hired administrator and clerk were both new to city government. Neither had experience compiling financials as required for municipalities applying for Community Revenue Sharing and PILT payments. On July 19 and September 3, 2013, Bethel regional office staff sent email correspondences to the City of Shageluk informing them of potential funding being available in 2014 to provide water and wastewater service for residents on Hamilton Street. The correspondences emphasized the utility's need for an onsite RUBA assessment so that compliance of several essential and sustainable indicators could be evaluated. The city will need to be in compliance with RUBA essential idicators before January or February 2014 so project money will be available for ordering materials and equipment for the summer's construction season. Due to problems with the FY14 budget, the meeting minutes and monthly financial reports submitted for June through September 2013 four essential indicators and five sustainable indicators of the Finances section are marked 'No'. Several other sustainable and essential indicators have been marked non-compliant until a new RUBA assessment is completed, which requires an on-site visit by RUBA staff to the city office.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Bethel staff will be available to work with the city's administrative staff to update the status of their RUBA indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
12 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
9 of 27
Total Score:
21 of 53

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.
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 copy of the city's FY14 budget appropriation ordinance adopted on May 28, 2013 is on file at the Bethel regional office. On July 23, 2013, Bethel RUBA staff emailed the city a review the FY14 budget spreadsheets, which had been requested by the city administrator. The review pointed out significant errors on the summary pages of the budget and advised that a budget amendment ordinance be passed by council addressing the errors. Meeting minutes for the June 20, July 31, August 13 and September 17 were faxed to the Bethel regional office. All mention council members reviewing monthly financial reports. However, the July 31 minutes were signed and approved on June 11, 2013, twenty days before the meeting was held. Both August and September minutes did not have a date line where the mayor signs and approves them. City staff provided monthly financial statements for June, July and August. However, in numerous instances, the FY13 budgeted amounts on the June financial statement and the FY14 budgeted amounts on the July and August financial statements do not match those listed in the FY13 and FY14 budget ordinances. Therefore, monthly financial statements cannot accurately track the city finances or be used with any certainty by city council members. The classes (departments, enterprises and grants) and categories (salaries, fuel, electric and office supplies) of the annual budget and monthly financial statement should be nearly identical. Therefore, due to the problems with the FY14 budget, the meeting minutes and the monthly financial reports, four essential indicators and five sustainable indicators of the Finances section are marked 'No'. A September 27, 2013 phone call to Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) indicated all the city's electric accounts were current. On August 20, 2013, a city council member indicated that the city had already received adequate fuel from Ruby Marine for the winter of 2013/2014.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
No 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.
No 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.
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
Sections 2.11-2.14 of Shageluk's Code of Water and Sewer Ordinances, adopted in 2005, address billing and payment, administration and enforcement, and restoration of service for utility customers. The school and the post office are the city's only customers for water and wastewater services. Documents verifying that the city bills its customers on a regular basis have not been provided. July and August 2013 bank account statements were povided by the city staff, but they were not accompanied by reconciliation summaries. Several indicators of this section are marked 'No' until the city's accounting system can be reviewed during an on-site visit by RUBA staff.

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
An email correspondence with the Alaska Department of Labor dated September 23, 2013, indicated the city is current with its employment security compensation tax payments and reports through June 30, 2013. Fax correspondence from IRS dated September 30, 2013 indicates that there are no current balances or information returns due for the city. The city is not listed on the July - August 2013, LIEN WATCH: A Review of Small Community Liens.

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.
No 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
A July 2, 2013 phone call to Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association indicated that the city had renewed its workers compensation policy for FY14. A personnel policies and procedures manual is electronically filed at the Bethel RUBA office. However, no documentation has been provided that the manual has been adopted by city council. City staff needs to provide documentation that city council has adopted the personnel manual that is being used. The city has not provided job descriptions for the water plant operator, the janitor, city clerk and administrator to Bethel RUBA staff. The city has provided a blank personnel evaluation form that ties an employee's to his job descriptions. However, it does not match the rating criteria stated in the unadopted personnel policy that has been provided. The city also needs to provide documentation that evaluations of employees are conducted at least annually. The unadopted personnel policy that has been provided contains an adequate written hiring process and adequately addresses probationary periods for new employees. Some of the indicators of this section are marked 'No' until an on-site visit is made by RUBA to review the city's personnel system.

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.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No 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
City of Shageluk Code of Water and Sewer Ordinances Ordinance #05-02 adopted on November 23, 2005 is on file at the Bethel Regional office. The school and the post office are the city's only customers for water and wastewater services. Documents verifying that the city bills its customers on a regular basis have not been provided. The city administrator was hired on February 20, 2012 and the city clerk on April 6, 2012. The administrator attended QuickBooks training in May of 2012 and the mayor and the administrator attended a RUBA Utility Management training in April of 2012. The city clerk attended a RUBA sponsored Utility Clerk training on September 10-14, 2012 and a RUBA sponsored Financial Class March 18-22, 2013. The city administrator and the clerk attended a RUBA sponsored Personnel Management Class on September 9-13, 2013. The clerk has held clerical and administrative positions with a tribal agency and a regional corporation and has been a resident of the community for some time having graduated from Shageluk's Innoko River High School. Alaska's Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database classifies Shageluk's water treatment plant as 'Small Water System'. The city's current water plant operator is not certified to the level of the water plant. The city has provided the Bethel RUBA office with an organization chart, adopted by city council on September 17, 2013, which reflects its current staff. The city council attempts to meet at least monthly pursuant to Alaska Title 29 and public notification of meetings and the manner in which they are conducted is in accordance with Alaska's Open Meeting Act or otherwise stated in local ordinances. Some of the indicators of this section are marked 'No' until an on-site visit is made by RUBA to review the city's organization management documents.

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
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.
No 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
Alaska's Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database classifies Shageluk's water treatment plant as 'Small Water System Treated Water System'. The city's current water plant operator is not certified to the level of the water plant. Shageluk's preventative maintenance plan is contained under Chapter 2 (pages 10-24) of the Operations and Maintenance Manual and is on file at the Bethel RUBA office. The city also has a forty-eight page safety policy. However, documentation has not been submitted that verifies regular safety meetings are being held. A copy of the city's 2012 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) is electronically filed at the Bethel RUBA office. However, a certification form signed by a city official indicating the report was distributed and posted in the community has not been provided. The utility is not on the July 2013 Significant Non-Compliance list. Current inventory control and critical spare parts lists need to be submitted to the Bethel regional office, for RUBA compliance. Some of the indicators of this section are marked 'No' until documents needed for their verification are provided by the city.