Quarterly Report: 2009, April - June (Q4), Noorvik

Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Noorvik 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is pumped from the Kobuk River to the water treatment/utility building, and stored in a tank. From there, a pressurized circulating system distributes water in utilidors. Groundwater wells have proven unsuccessful. Noorvik has a vacuum sewer system in which waste is carried by air instead of water. Vacuum pressure pumps the sewage to the 60,000-gal. collection and treatment plant. The system requires special toilets and water valves which collect wastewater from the sinks, toilets and showers. Over 100 homes, the schools and businesses are served. Funds have been requested to connect and plumb the remaining 16 unserved homes on the south side of town and along River Road. A new landfill and access road is under development. Funds have also been requested to construct a multi-purpose facility, including a new washeteria, recreation center, Head Start, day care center, a restaurant, Native Crafts production and a food processing plant. The community is interested in using wind energy.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Kotzebue RUBA staff provided assistance to the new administrator on his budget and certified financial statement. He was hired and terminated this last quarter but the Northwest Arctic Borough public services coordinator (previous city administrator) and the Mayor worked with new staff to complete the required documents to qualify for their revenue sharing. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff is waiting to hear from the city to travel back to Noorvik to train new City Administrator and review RUBA assessment.
Essential Indicators:
21 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
15 of 27
Total Score:
36 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
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Although they have passed a realistic budget which list all the revenues and expenses for the utility, monthly financial reports were not completed due to turnover in staff. We do know that they have adequate supply of fuel this fall but are planning to apply for another loan. Since they are unable to provide me with financial reports this last quarter, I am having to mark no on receiving enough revenues to cover expenses and we do not know if they are current in paying their bills.

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.
No 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
Until I can talk to the temporary bookkeeper they just hired, I am unable to verify that they are still activily following their collection policy. We do know that they are billing customers monthly and that they have an accounts receivable, payroll and records system in place as well as a purchasing system. They use their budget as their chart of accounts and has a purchasing system in place requiring approval to budgeted amounts.

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 uses excel to prepare their payroll journal, track and report payroll taxes. They are working on their last quarter tax reports right now and have made tax deposits timely.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
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
The city has renewed their insurance which is posted showing coverage from AML from July 2008 to June 2009. Once they receive their new policy, they plan The city has requested assistance to update their personnel policies which are very out dated. Hopefully they will hire their permanent bookkeeper soon so I can travel back to provide her training and work with the council at night in reviewing the AML policies. They do have job descriptions which they update as needed for all positions and has an evaluation process that ties the job to the evaluation an an adequate hiring process in their current policy but found that the new administrator did not know about using I-9 forms and an acceptance letter when hiring. They do have an probationary period with orientation and on the job training as well as evaluations. The operators do attend all training provided in Kotzebue, The new administrator did attend the Community Development Block Grant training in Kotzebue and plans to attend the quickbooks training in May.

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.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No 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
No 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 council understands that they own the utility, passed the necessary ordinances and enforces the policies. I have not found time to travel to provide training to the new administrator who had been on the council for many years. I am unsure about his management knowledge at this time. They are currently advertising for a permanent bookkeeper. Their operator is certified in water distribution and water treatment P, wastewater collection and treatment P. They also have two alternates who are certified in wastewater collection OIT and water distribution P.

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.
No 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".
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
This operator is certified and continues to attend training offered here in Kotzebue as well as his alternate. He has a preventative maintenance plan that he follows and reports monthly to the administrator and council. No known safety training has been held at this time but no major problems or outages have occurred so the utility is operating at a level it was proposed. They are currently on the SNC list due to high source of water turbidity. Water Plant Upgrades were postponed by ANTHC. Planned for next summer. Existing direct inflitration system is challenged to meet turbidity standards.