Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), Toksook Bay

Community:
Toksook Bay 
Staff:
Fred Broerman  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Toksook Bay 
Population:
610  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/4/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The Piped Water/Sewer utilities are operated and maintained by ANTHC Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative to provide water and sewer service. There are 100 residential and 13 commercial customers. The Washeteria is no longer in operation.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On December 8, 2010 Bethel RUBA staff visited Toksook Bay to provide information about what Alaska statutes allow when establishing a MOA between city and tribal governments. CE2 Engineers made a presentation to the community in November about the benefits of combining tribal and city government entities. This had generated curiosity among community leaders and ANTHC personnel dealing directly with the community regarding their Alaska Rural Utility Cooperative (ARUC) membership and potential construction of a new water treatment facility in 2011. ANTHC's project engineer and ARUC's manager (by phone) also presented the meeting. ARUC's Manager stated the community was a role model for other rural communities based on the hard work they have accomplished. ANTHC expressed concerns about how a MOA might affect city finances while still in the planning stages of the construction of a seven million dollar treatment plant. Because it had been suggested at the November meeting that the MOA be in place by July 2010, ANTHC also questioned what government would take ownership of the new plant once construction was complete. Bethel RUBA Staff shared a four page informational handout titled 'Contractual Agreements between Municipal and Tribal Governments or Non-profits' from the Department of Commerce's website. The hand-out generated much discussion as key points were highlighted. Most community members thought that a MOA would result in 'just one community government' and were not aware that the minimum legal requirements of the city would still be in place and the city would retain ownership and control of its property and assets. Meeting attendees were informed that MOAs were not intended to merge two governments into one; but a tool that two governments could use to formally agree to share responsibilities so that they might better serve their community. Attendees were interested in reviewing MOAs from other Alaska communities. Toksook Bay's city and tribal governments have been holding joint meetings for over 15 years and the community has benefited as a result.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will monitor ARUC reports and provide assistance as requested.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 27
Total Score:
50 of 53

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.
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
Monthly finance and budget reports are prepared by ARUC. ARUC prepares, and sends out reports to the community and the ARUC Advisory committee. ARUC pays the local school disctrict for electrical services.

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
ARUC water/sewer ordinance contains a collection policy section. ARUC manages utility billing, accounts payable, receivable, and payroll processing. ARUC reconciles all bank accounts monthly and follows a comprehensive personnel and purchasing policy. ARUC uses the account software specturm.

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 utility is managed by ARUC who is deemed compliant by both ESC and IRS.

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.
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
Alaska National Insurance Company workers compensation coverage is current through October 1, 2009. ARUC manages water/sewer employess are under ANTHC personnel policy, hiring process, job decsriptions, and provides training for operators in Tooksok Bay. The Bethel office does not have on file a copy of the utility operators personnel file to determine if the indicator is currently being met. RUBA will request copies to be sent. Six months is the probationary period for new hires.

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 has an ordinance, MOA and a Collaborative Agreement with ARUC and it is known that ARUC maintains the water and sewer services for the city.

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.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
An operator search in the DEC showed that the operators are current in certification for treatment, distrubution and collection. The utility had preventative maintenance plan in place but are provided ARUC plan after modified to match the system. An ARUC maintence plan will be requested. The water operators provide the Bethel ARUC utilites management specialist with information of the utility daily operations and safety meeting. Copies of the Tooksok control and spare part list will need to be requested.