Quarterly Report: 2008, July - September (Q1), Ekwok

Community:
Ekwok 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Ekwok 
Population:
118  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/17/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Individual wells provide water for the majority of the community. Approximately 20 HUD homes have individual wells and a piped septic system. The City operates a piped sewage system with sewage lift station, which connects to a portion of the community, roughly 16 residences. The remaining homes use septic systems or a flush/haul system. The city operates a sewage pumper. Roughly thirty six of 42 homes have complete plumbing. Landfill services are available at no charge. Ekwok Electric, a city-owned utility, provides electricity services. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA offered assistance to city officials during the quarter as they worked to resolve deficient RUBA Assessment essential indicators. The administrator expressed interest to RUBA in improving the format the city is presently using for its annual operating budget and certified financial statements. RUBA essential indicators, a sanitation grant condition, remain in various stages of improvement. RUBA also maintained contact with the Village Safe Water engineer assigned to the community. According to the engineer, the community sanitation project is nearing completion and planning is underway for a new wastewater-focused renovation project. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will continue offering assistance to the city with a focus on RUBA essential indicators, a sanitation grant condition. RUBA will plan travel to conduct a re-assessment in the coming quarters. RUBA assistance remains available upon request as sanitation business plans are developed.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
22 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
17 of 24
Total Score:
39 of 50

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.
No 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The FY 2008 water/sewer budget is balanced and realistic. Water/sewer revenues, with support from a city subsidy, remain sufficient to cover utility expenses. Year-to-date customer revenues appear below budget. Electric bills are current and an adequate supply of fuel supply is available. RUBA recommends the city review the existing utility budget to ensure new cost elements are considered upon completion of the sanitation project.

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.
No 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.
N/A 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 utility continues billing customers with a sewer line connection. Staff track payroll, accounts receivable, and payable using spreadsheets and voice interest in computerized accounting such as QuickBooks. Concerning payroll, the administrator is reviewing tax reports and submittals to resolve inaccuracies. RUBA continues to extend offers of assistance with payroll processing.

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.
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
According to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service on September 25, 2007, the city is not presently in compliance with all federal tax obligations. RUBA alerted the city administrator to the correspondence and offered assistance going forward. The administrator uses tax tables and a spreadsheet-based system to manually process payroll.

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.
Yes 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
The city's sorkers' compensation coverage is effective through July 1, 2008. The utility uses the city's personnel policy which is dated and could benefit from revision. RUBA remains available to assist with policy revision upon request.

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
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 serves as the utility board and operates the water-sewer system in accordance with the water-sewer ordinance. Utility collections are more consistent than in prior years and can improve. The administrator serves as utility manager and the electric utility manager serves as the water operator, both of whom are trained and experienced. The council meets as required and can benefit from improved assembly and distribution of meeting minutes.

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.
N/A The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
N/A 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 city is not required to have a certified water operator or wastewater operator at this time. Sanitation utility staff is experienced and RUBA recommends septic pumping staff receive sufficient ongoing training to ensure safe operations. A preventative maintenance plan identifies operational information based on original system design. RUBA continues to recommend that the city hall watering point be added to the utility ordinance and budget.