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

Community:
Ninilchik 
Staff:
Jedediah Smith  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Community Non Profit 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Ninilchik Village Townsite Association-INACTIVE 
Population:
785  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/10/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The majority of homes use individual water wells or have water delivered. Two-thirds of all residences have individual wastewater systems and full plumbing; others use privies. The school operates its own well and water treatment facility. Many homes in this area are used only seasonally. The Water and Sewer Association has requested funding to construct a piped sewer system for homes in the Old Historic Ninilchik Subdivision. Lots are too small for both individual wells and wastewater systems. The VSW has identified a potential water source. The source is a well located in the old historic subdivision. A borough refuse transfer site is located in Ninilchik, at mile 138.5 Sterling Hwy. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Anchorage RUBA staff has made multiple unsuccessful attempts to contact the community. The information below is not a reflection of the communitys current status. Once contact in made with the community, the indicators and comments will be updated. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff continues to be available to provide assistance for any management capacity indicators that are not being met.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
0 of 12
Sustainable Indicators:
0 of 14
Total Score:
0 of 26

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
N/A The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
N/A 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.
N/A The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
N/A The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources sufficient to cover operating expenses and Repair & Replacement (R) costs.
N/A YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
N/A 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 Ninilchik Water and Sewer Association does not currently have a completely constructed and operable utility system. Construction work began in August 2011 on the water plant, water storage tank and watering point. Water mains and service lines still need to be constructed. At this time, the community watering point is not in service and there are no customers. Although designs were prepared for a piped wastewater collection system, the funds needed to construct it were not available. The new plan is for individual septic systems to be installed in the Old Village Townsite. According to a septic system evaluation completed April 13, 2012, it was determined that if the individual wells were abandoned after the new water system was installed, conventional or advanced septic systems would be feasible for most of the existing households. However, wastewater holding tanks will be needed for one household and the water treatment facility. The association has funding allocated through the Village Safe Water (VSW) program and construction, but completion of construction is pending RUBA compliance and availability of funds. On April 25, 2013, the project engineer submitted a proposal to VSW for updating the business plan. VSW is working on obtaining the funding to complete the construction of the water distribution system and individual septic systems. All financial documents are projections. The manager stated that budgets are available on hand through fiscal year 2014. VSW and Michael L. Foster and Associates (MLFA) engineers provided the NWSA with separate operating budget proposals and from the two budget proposals, NWSA was able to create the projected budgets. The projected budgets show that revenues to be generated will be sufficient to cover maintenance and operation costs, including repair and replacement costs. No commercial users are expected. The school runs on a separate water system and was not included in the analysis. Once construction has been completed, Last winter, three space heaters were left running all the time to keep pipes from freezing inside the water plant. VSW is paying the monthly electric bills from Homer Electric Association to keep the building warm in the winter. Monthly financial reports with actual figures are not available as the association has not begun to bill customers. Once the system is constructed the bookkeeper, who attended QuickBooks training, will generate reports using QuickBooks. The utility manager provides a managers report and projected financial reports to the utility board at the meetings. The managers report consists of projected financial reports and correspondence with VSW and RUBA staff regarding the water and wastewater project. Financial reports show projected income and expense figures against the proposed budget. Minutes need to be approved that reflect this. It is recommended that the minutes be typed. The association is actively planning for the new system and has gone through various discussions and budget variations that will best serve the community. VSW is working on obtaining the funding to complete the construction of the water distribution system and individual septic systems. YTD revenues and expenditures cannot be generated because the association does not bill for piped water services at this time. The association board can only project these figures. The manager does have a sample bill that needs to be approved by the board and will be utilized once the system is constructed and ready for customer use. At this time, the community watering point is not in service and there are no customers.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
N/A 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.
N/A The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
N/A 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
Although the system has not been constructed, the association does have a sewer and water ordinance that has a Billing and Payment section that defines Delinquent Bills, Administration and Enforcement. Other sections that are listed but not yet defined are Discontinuance, Restoration of Services, Unusual Demands, and other non-financial sections. The utility does not issue bills as the system has not been constructed. However, once the system is operational, the utility will utilize QuickBooks to generate customer bills. The bookkeeper does have projected accounts receivable in QuickBooks even though no billing has taken place. This is to show the association board what revenues to expect during the budgeting process and help generate realistic projections. The association accounting system is QuickBooks, which is capable of calculating payroll. Currently there is no need for a payroll system. All bookkeeper / manager / operator time has been voluntary to date as these positions are currently under the same person. A chart of accounts has been generated with the projected utility assets, incomes and liabilities. Once the system is constructed, the association will use QuickBooks as a cash receipt and disbursement system.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
N/A The utility is current on filing tax reports.
N/A 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
As this is a newly formed association, the board does not have any employees beyond community volunteers. All bookkeeping/manager/operator time has been voluntary. The Ninilchik Water and Sewer Association has incorporated with the State of Alaska and has an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. NWSA has filed their required biennial reports and is a corporation in good standing with the State. The association plans to utilize QuickBooks for payroll accounting.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A 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.
No The utility has an adequate written hiring process.
N/A 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.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
There are no employees and therefore, no need for workers compensation insurance at this time. The association does have a Personnel Policy Manual. Within the manual there is no evaluation process, hiring process, or probationary periods stated within the policies. The manager stated there is a probationary period of 90 days but documentation regarding this is needed. There is a training section stated in the business plan and the association board has supported training opportunities when possible. Job descriptions and assignment of duties are listed in the Ninilchik Water and Sewer Utility Business Plan.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
N/A 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
No The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
No The policy making body meets as required.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The Ninilchik Water and Sewer Association has been incorporated with the State of Alaska and has been given legal authority to operate a water and wastewater utility. The association was created to be eligible for a water and wastewater project from VSW for the Old Townsite residents. The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility planning process. They have held multiple meetings to prepare for the management of the utility once constructed. The manager/bookkeeper/operator and has attended QuickBooks training and has obtained certification as a Small Water Treatment T operator (which expired in December 2012). Also, as manager, the same person has 30 years of work experience, was a certified public accountant, and is proficient in the duties necessary for a utility manager. When NWSA held scheduled meetings and special meetings to prepare for the management of the utility once construction is completed, those meetings complied with the Open Meetings Act. However, because the association is a non-profit, compliance with the Open Meetings Act is not required.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
N/A The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
N/A 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.
N/A The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
N/A Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
N/A The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
N/A 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.
N/A The utility maintains an inventory control list.
N/A The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The operator had certification in Small Water Treatment T that expired 12/31/12. Because the present project has been changed and scaled back from what was originally planned, the operator is not required to be certified. The water wont be treated, and there will no piped wastewater system. The operator still plans to take the online exam to become certified, even though it is not required. As the system is not constructed to date, there is no preventative maintenance plan. A plan will be created during construction of the system. There is no current facility to provide an O and M report. The manager is also the operator so once the utility is operational, the monthly reports will go to the president of the association. At this time there is no need for safety meetings or CCR reporting. Once the system is constructed, the number of anticipated customers are so few that no water testing or treatment will be required. If the system is expanded and gains a sufficient number of customers in the future, the utility should comply with whatever routine testing and treatment is required by the regulations. There is no inventory or spare parts list at this time. These lists will need to be created once the system is constructed.