Quarterly Report: 2006, April - June (Q4), Wales

Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Wales 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Two new groundwater wells have been drilled; a pumphouse and watering point enclosure are needed. Currently, water is derived from Gilbert Creek during the summer, and residents haul treated water from a 500,000-gal. Storage tank at the washeteria. Some use untreated water from Village Creek. Almost all residents use honeybuckets, and very few homes currently have plumbing. A honeybucket haul system is in place. The school, clinic, and city building are served by piped water. There are two septic systems - one for the school and a second for teacher's housing, the clinic, and the city building. A Master Plan to implement a piped system has been completed. There is no permit for the landfill. Village Safe Water is applying for sanitation grants for the community to upgrade the washeteria 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff assisted the city obtain bingo gaming and pulltab sales licenses so that the net proceeds could be used for general government and washeteria subsidy. We were expecting to earn at least $25-30,000 a year for these purposes. The city was fixing up an office at the city office building and and had purchased a Monitor heater and other equipment to have daily pulltab sales and at least two bingo games a week. However, the city was having difficulty getting some start-up money. RUBA staff does not know what the new city council wants to do, but is talking with the new mayor and council to see what direction they want to go with this. The city also purchased a new eight-wheeler and a snowmachine to use to haul trash and honey-bucket bins. A four-wheeler and a snowmachine previously used had broken down. The city used Capital Matching Grant money to make the purchases. The previous mayor and RUBA staff were looking for ways to improve the trash/honey-bucket haul collections. The city has about 5% collection now. The previous city clerk was faithfully sending out monthly bills. The city continues to have difficulty meeting Drinking Water Act requirements because nobody is willing to work as the water plant operator. The mayor had raised the previous operator's pay to entice him to continue working for the city. He told the mayor that he was submitting water samples to DEC, but the mayor found out he wasn't doing it, so the operator was fired. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Essential Indicators:
5 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
0 of 27
Total Score:
5 of 54


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.
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.
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
The washeteria token sales improved due to good accountability by the previous city clerk. However, there are still some washer and dryer tokens still unaccounted for. Some past clerks may have been selling them on the sly. We were planning on using CMG money to convert the coin slots to use quarters instead of tokens. Most of the financial plans made between the previous mayor and RUBA are no longer in effect due to the change of council and mayor. The new council wrongly think the previous mayor and clerk were doing things illegally. They had wanted an audit done on the city's finances, but RUBA informed them that it would cost a lot of money and that it can't afford to do it now. It may be a challenge to complete the FY '07 budget now as the city clerk has resigned. This clerk never learned how to do budgets despite being taught by RUBA a couple of times.

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.
No 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.
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
The previous city clerk was faithfully sending out trash/honey-bucket haul utility bills regularly, but managing to collect only about 5% of the total bills. The previous mayor mentioned that before he resigned, the new council told him that they will consider forgiving all the previous bills. This will not look good for the presently stalled sanitation project or any future projects. RUBA will write a letter to the new council stating this, along with other issues they will need to deal with. All functions of the city are at a stand-still as the new council begins to look for a new city clerk. Nome RUBA discussed the hiring of a city clerk and the mayor told me that he had someone in mind. RUBA doesn't know the qualifications of this person, but will send a city clerk job description to the mayor to assist him with this decision.

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.
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 city has not submitted quarterly tax reports or made payroll tax deposits. The previous clerks were taught, but they have not followed through as recommended by RUBA. The city has not been able to find someone qualified.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The city cannot afford to purchase workers' compensation or insurance. It has a job description for the city clerk, but not for any other positions. RUBA was working with the mayor on this, but he volunteered most of his time. Sometimes he barely had time to do work for the city because of family concerns. We were working on revising codifying the city ordinances, but financial issues were always in the way.

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.
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 city went through several council members that kept resigning for one reason or another. The mayor called for meetings whenever the city could afford it or when there was a quorum of council. There has been an extreme lack of interest in having some of the council seats filled. The previous mayor resigned as soon as the new council was sworn in due to the stress involved. The city clerk, who also resigned soon after the mayor, did not know how to use computers or typewriters and had minimal experience with bookkeeping.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
No 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.
No Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
No 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".
No 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