Quarterly Report: 2011, April - June (Q4), Hooper Bay

Community:
Hooper Bay 
Staff:
Fred Broerman  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Hooper Bay 
Population:
1149  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/3/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The Hooper Bay Utility Advisory Board advises the city council on utility operations and management. The city operates multiple watering points within the village. Residents haul water from watering points to the city's 200 dwellings for cooking, cleaning and washing needs. Residents also self-haul their garbage and honey buckets to a solid waste site and wastewater lagoon respectively. The new school, teacher housing, new clinic, head start building are connected to the communities new water treatment/washeteria facility. The new water treatment/washeteria facility opened in 2007 and provides 18 washers, 12 dryers, 16 showers and two saunas that residents can use for a nominal charge. The watering point at the old town site is also connected to the new water treatment plant. The Traditional Council is pursuing a solid waste management grant to upgrade the existing lagoon. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
In March of 2011 twenty-one residences were connected to piped water and sewer. Previously only the clinic and clinic housing, the new school, teacher housing, an apartment building with nineteen households and the Head Start building had piped water. There are now about fifty households hooked up to the city's new water treatment plant. A July 5, 2011 phone conversation with Village Safe Water's engineer indicated that the community is in line for receiving seven million dollars in USDA Rural Development funding for connecting remaining households in the community. Correspondences were emailed to the city on December 21, 2010, March 25, 2011, and June 14, 2011 requesting documents needed for verification of RUBA essential indicators. At the time of this writing the city has not provided the Bethel RUBA office with several items that were requested. Therefore the city is no longer in compliance for several essential indicators until documents needed for verification can be provided. The City of Hooper Bay's last RUBA assessment was completed on August 7, 2009. A new assessment should be scheduled prior to August 2011. Many sustainable indicators need reviewed and cannot be marked 'YES' until a new assessment is completed. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Bethel staff is willing to work with Hooper Bay's administrative staff to help the city with non compliant RUBA Essential Indicators. A complete operation and maintenance manual plan is needed for the new washeteria/water treatment plant. An inventory control list, safety manual, and a critical spare parts list need to be included in the OM Manual.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
19 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
14 of 27
Total Score:
33 of 54

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.
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
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.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city has submitted an adequate FY11 Budget which was adopted on June 22, 2010. Minutes from a March 23, 2011 city council meeting were faxed to Bethel Staff in April 13, 2011. The meeting minutes mentioned city council 'going over and discussing' a monthly financial report but the minutes did not indicate which month(s) the report covered. Unfortunately, Bethel RUBA office has not received monthly financial reports regularly from the city since September 2010. RUBA compliance requires both the monthly report (spreadsheet or QuickBooks print out) along with meeting minutes mentioning the governing body's approval of the report be submitted to the Bethel Regional Office council for at least three consecutive months. Monthly financial reports should include 'Budgeted', 'Current Month', 'Year to Date', and 'Remaining Balance' columns for each department, grant and project's expenditures and revenues. Another option to satisfy this essential indicator would be to provide council members with a QuickBooks Profit and Loss by Class report for each department, grant and project along with a Profit and Loss, Budget versus Actual report. A June 22, 2011 correspondence from Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) indicated that the city is 30 days past due on several of their electric accounts. The city consumes approximately about 40,000 gallons of fuel oil annually. A July 5, 2011 phone call with the city administrator indicated they have enough fuel for the summer but will be purchasing heating fuel in August for the winter of 2011/2011 using FY 2012 Community Revenue Sharing and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments.

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.
No 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.
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
Without current monthly financial reports or an accounts receivable aging report, RUBA staff is unable to verify that the collection policy is being enforced. A January 2005, 'City of Hooper Bay Water, Sewer and Solid Waste Business Plan' is on file at the Bethel Regional Office. Sections 11-17 outlines the city's collection policy. Water and wastewater billings are sent out the first of every month. An accounts receivable aging report for the city's water and sewer utility showing the status of commercial and residential accounts for 30, 60, and 90 days was requested in quarterly information requests but have not been provided. Therefore it could not be determined if the city has an accounts receivable system in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts. The utility uses QuickBooks Pro 10 for its financial accounting.

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.
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 uses QuickBooks Pro 10 for its payroll accounting. A June 17, 2011 correspondence from the IRS indicated that the city owes a small amount of 941 taxes for the first quarter of 2011. A June 17, 2011 email correspondence from the State of Alaska, Employment Security Tax office in Anchorage indicates that the city is compliant with its employment security contributions through March 31, 2011. The city is not listed on the March-April 2011 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
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.
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.
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
An October 13, 2010 phone conversation with the city's workers' compensation carrier, Alaska Public Entity Insurance, indicated the city was current through June 2011. The insurance company indicated the city had coverage for 23 full time employees.

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.
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 utility has an adopted water and wastewater ordinance, however a new ordinance that meets the requirements of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska's (RCA) is being considered for adoption by the city council. Without an accounts receivable aging report showing the status of commercial and residential accounts for 30, 60, and 90 days RUBA staff is unable to verify that the city council is enforcing its utility policy. The administrative and finance staff are competent long term employees. The city has a Class 2 Water Distribution System and the city's lead water treatment operator is certified to the level required to operate the plant. His Class 2 certification expires on December 31, 2011 but as of March 2011 he had take enough Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to extend his certification. The city's assistant operator is not adequately certified. According to a July 5, 2011 query of the Alaska Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database he has not attempted to take certification tests for several years.

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.
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.
Yes 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
The city has a Class 2 Water Distribution System and the city's lead water treatment operator is certified to the level required to operate the plant. His Class 2 certification expires on December 31, 2011 but as of March 2011 he had take enough Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to extend his certification. The city's assistant operator is not adequately certified. According to a July 5, 2011 query of the Alaska Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database he has not attempted to take certification tests for several years. On October 22, 2010, CE2 Engineers emailed the city (and Bethel RUBA staff) a copy of 'City of Hooper Bay Water Treatment Plant and Washeteria Preventive Maintenance Plan and Records and Reporting' for review and approval. In the email CE2's engineer mentioned that the Preventive Maintenance Plan will eventually be included in the larger Operation and Maintenance (OM) Manual for the city's water treatment plant and washeteria. The OM Manual will also include a Health and Safety Plan, an Inventory Control List and a Critical Spare Parts List. However, no projected date of completion was given for the OM Manual. The city's 2010 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) is on file at the Bethel Regional office however a certification form saying the CCR was distributed or posted in the community was not been provided. The city is not on the April 2011 Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list.