Quarterly Report: 2014, January - March (Q3), Fort Yukon

Fort Yukon 
Jeffrey Congdon  
DCRA Regional Office:
Fairbanks regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Fort Yukon 
590 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Fort Yukon operates a class 2 water system. The water treatment facility treats water from a well that is influenced by both groundwater and surface water. The treated water is stored in a 350,000-gallon tank. A combination of piped water, water delivery and individual wells serves households. A flush/haul system, wastewater tanks, honey buckets and outhouses are used for wastewater disposal. Nearly every home in Fort Yukon is connected to the new piped system. Electricity is provided by Gwitchyaa Zhee Utilities. Waste heat from the electric utility may be available for the water/wastewater utility pending available funding and agreement between the utilities. It is recommended that this option should be actively pursued (depending on feasibility and practicality of utilizing available waste heat). Construction was completed on a new water treatment facility, with a grand opening in January, 2012.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On January 14 Fairbanks RUBA staff traveled to Fort Yukon to attend the regularly scheduled council meeting. RUBA staff provided information about community planning and capital improvement plans for the utility. RUBA staff also provided information regarding a PERS resolution in support of the governors’ spending of State money of $3 billion to offset the growing PERS deficit. While in Fort Yukon, RUBA staff worked with management on repairs to dilapidated city utility equipment and also with accounting personnel on a contract for maintenance and repair. RUBA staff attended a utility commission meeting and provided information and advice on proposed rate changes. Fort Yukon is currently evaluating and modifying their utility ordinance and utility rates. RUBA staff suggested the Fort Yukon council adopt recommendations from the Utility Commission. RUBA staff also recommended the City of Fort Yukon, ANTHC, and the Native Village of Fort Yukon coordinate efforts on housing renovations and water/wastewater in home plumbing so as to be more productive with available funding. The Fort Yukon's clerk attended a RUBA Personnel Management training in Fairbanks in March.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will work with Fort Yukon on financial documentation and the generation of financial reports for the city council. Fort Yukon is hiring a Bookkeeper/treasurer. RUBA staff is available for advice on the hiring process, and remains available for other concerns. RUBA staff anticipates attending the next Utility Commission meeting in early July (next quarter).
Essential Indicators:
23 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
50 of 53


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.
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.
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
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
Financial information for the 1st quarter of 2014 has not been received by RUBA staff. Essential Financial Indicators will remain marked "No" until financial information has been reviewed by RUBA staff. The City of Fort Yukon drafted, adopted, and submitted a realistic, balanced FY14 budget. All revenue and expenses for water/wastewater utility are listed in the budget. The city passed the FY14 budget on May 14, 2013. Finance reports are submitted to the city council monthly. These reports include a profit and loss budget vs. actual for the council; councilmembers have an accurate financial picture of the utility. Accounts payable reports show all payable accounts paid within 60 days. The city has an annual financial plan to purchase fuel from Crowley, the local fuel provider. The water and wastewater utilities operate at a profit. Projected incomes after expenses for FY14 water and wastewater utilities are $236,123. These funds will offset expenses of $228,576 in the public works department. Repair and replacement funds are set aside monthly and placed into a certificate of deposit. The FY12 CD investment was $12,180. These funds are generated by a $5/customer fee included in the monthly billing. Budget amendments are completed as necessary; an ordinance adopting Fiscal Year Revision 2 of the FY13 budget was adopted April 9, 2013. This revision shows gaming revenues decreasing throughout the year utility revenues performed better than the initial FY13 budget, water and wastewater revenues after the budget amendment passed, were raised to $328,590. This revision also shows an increase in water testing expenses, and an increase in water house supplies. The revision accounts for these price increases over the initial FY13 budget. With the revised budget in place, the utility expenditures are below amounts budgeted. A monthly manager's report was prepared and delivered at the council meeting. The utility commission made several recommendations regarding accounts receivable, the city adopted those recommendations. Utility commission recommendations reduced accounts receivable, however the recommendations were equitable and realistic.

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
The utility has adopted a collection policy that throughout the summer is strictly adhered to. During the winter sections of the collection policy are not enforced, as the city does not shut off water utilities during the winter to avoid freezing the main lines. After following the collections process the city has a collection rate of 98 percent. The City of Fort Yukon's bookkeeping personnel, Velma Carroll and her assistant Jacqueline bill customers on a regular basis with an invoice for each service. The bookkeeper also sends a statement with line items for each service rendered, which references the individual invoices, and includes an inclusive total. Fort Yukon utilizes QuickBooks for accounts receivable, payable, payroll, and for cash recording. QuickBooks accurately tracks past due accounts and amounts receivable. Accounts payable are entered into QuickBooks as received, QuickBooks accurately tracks accounts payable. QuickBooks accurately tracks payroll, however supervisors need to work with employees to ensure employee hours are itemized correctly. The utility also utilizes a cash receipt system. The City of Fort Yukon's chart of accounts correctly identifies categories. Velma Carroll, City of Fort Yukon Treasurer, reconciles and files all bank transactions for the city's utilities on a monthly basis. The utility maintains petty cash for small purchases from the grocery store. No other bills are paid with cash, cash received as payment is stored in the city safe, then deposited to the bank. Bank account reconciliation has taken place up through July 2013. The city department heads are informed of the amounts of funding available, and of their financial situation(s) within the city's budget. The approval process for purchases compares proposed expenditures with budgeted and existing funds prior to the purchase being made.

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
The City of Fort Yukon's bookkeeping office maintains a well organized three ring binder of payroll records, organized quarterly by date. Bookkeeping staff utilize this paper record as well as electronic records through QuickBooks to ensure timely preparation and payment of federal and state tax reports and deposits. The utility is current with all IRS reports and payments for federal tax reporting and deposits. RUBA staff have not received a response from Alaska DOL for this quarter. Fort Yukon is typically in complaince with DOL reports and payments.

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 City of Fort Yukon has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect provided through AMLJIA which is in effect 4/4/2014. The city utilizes a personnel policy handbook wherein adequate job descriptions are written for all positions, the utility hiring process and job evaluation process are included in the handbook. Job notices are posted with the job description and are advertised locally at least 14 days. The personnel folder for each employee contains their I-9, job application, letter of acceptance, any employee evaluations, a copy of the employees acceptance of the personnel handbook, and other information that may be specific to that employee. Employees are evaluated annually, by their supervisor. The supervisor reports the evaluation to the personnel officer; the personnel officer is the city manager. All employees were evaluated in April 2013. The City of Fort Yukon has a 90 day probationary period for all new hires; orientation, oversight, and job training are provided during the probationary period, ongoing training opportunities are provided as necessary.

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 Fort Yukon is the owner of the utility; the utility is named City Water and Sewer and operates under Alaska Business License 253521. The city council is the policy making body, the city council is also the utility board. Fort Yukon is in the process of creating a utility board to act in an advisory manner to the council. The city council will remain the responsible entity for the utility. They meet monthly as required by Alaska Statute, and they do enforce the utility policy. The utility is managed by Marvin Yoder. Velma Carroll is the bookkeeper for the utility; she is very organized and quite competent and has over five years experience in the position of treasurer/bookkeeper. Eric Tremblay is the main water operator for the utility; he is mechanically inclined and intimately knowledgeable with Fort Yukon's utilities. Mr. Tremblay is currently certified at Water Treatment level 3 and Water Distribution level 3. He is certified above the requirements necessary for the City Water and Sewers utility system. Mr. Tremblay also holds a Wastewater Collection level 2 certificate and a Wastewater Treatment level 1. Mr. Tremblay has over five years of experience with the water and wastewater utility systems in Fort Yukon. Mr. Tremblay currently works part time for the City of Fort Yukon as the water operator, and maintains the availability to work seasonally in Fort Yukon on construction projects etc. Jay Stackhouse is the back-up operator. He has provisional level certificates in all levels. Training is available to all personnel. Training opportunities are offered to staff when available and attendance of training is encouraged. The utility recently maintains an organizational chart to reflect the current staff relations. The utility body meets monthly, as a city council is mandated to, and does comply with the Open Meetings Act for all meetings.

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
The utility operator(s) actively work towards and continue to keep their certifications compliant. The manager and the utility operator communicate on a routine basis; Mr. Tremblay gives verbal updates to the manager at least weekly, more often if some issue exists. The water operator provides a written report to the council on at least a monthly basis. The city manager checks on the water plant facilities. City of Ft. Yukon personnel do hold safety meetings; they also participate in the monthly AMLJIA telephonic safety meetings. There are currently no unresolved major problems or outages within the utility facilities or distribution system. The water treatment plant is producing potable water, and is currently not on the Significant Non-Compliance list. The last Consumer Confidence Report on file is from 2012. The utility maintains an inventory control list, and is proactive in purchasing supplies and equipment. The utility also maintains a spare parts inventory and a critical spare parts list for the existing water treatment facility. These lists were provided by ANTHC, as the utility continues to operate, the operator will continue to update spare parts lists for the water treatment facility.