Quarterly Report: 2007, January - March (Q3), Hooper Bay

Community:
Hooper Bay 
Staff:
Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Hooper Bay 
Population:
1133  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/1/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Hooper Bay operates multiple watering points within the village and a solid waste and waste-water lagoon. The residents self-haul their own garbage and honey buckets. Hooper Bay Utility Advisory Board advises the City Council on Utility Operations and Management. The new school's water and waste water is connected to the new Water Treatment Plant. The watering point at the Old Town-site is connected for processed water from the new Water Treatment Plant. The HPB Traditional Council is pursuing a Solid-Waste Management Grant to upgrade the existing lagoon. In FY 08 over 75 homes will be connected to the water and sewer lines. Water and Sewer Project is on going project ---2010 as a completion date. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
This quarter RUBA received copies of the monthly financial reports, user fee collection report, tax deposit payment confirmations, employers Federal 941 reports, copies of the Capital Matching Grant reports and Alaska Contribution Report. On January 29, 2007 RUBA staff attended the ribbon cutting/dedication ceremony for the new school in Hooper Bay. The weather prevented several plane loads of people from making it into the community, including the Governor and staff. Approximately 50 guests and 350 residents attended the ceremony. The new school is quite impressive. It has a maximum occupancy of approximately 750 students, currently the student count is about 400. That night and the following day, a big windstorm hit the community. Winds were steady at 60-70 mph, and gusts recorded at 82. There was some minor damage to the school (siding blew off in one corner), but very minor. It was a good test. Staff also toured the water treatment plant. It is producing water, and they are fine tuning the treatment process and putting in the automatic controls. The washeteria portion of the plant should be completed in 3-5 months. This plant is even more impressive than the new school. Staff met with the City Administrator and VSW engineer one morning. The City has two major concerns regarding water/sewer. 1) trying to get a large fuel tank for the water treatment plant so they can purchase fuel wholesale and reduce costs. We strategized how they could fund this project. 2) The 2004 business plan indicated a residential rate of $85/month. Last month we updated this rate by adding a fuel surcharge to cover the increased cost of fuel. The rate now is $135/month. At this rate it is likely that many residents will choose not to connect to the system, or have high non-payment rates. Fuel and alternative energy are the keys to keeping this water/sewer system affordable. On March 20, 2007 the City administrator for the City of Hooper Bay called wanting to know where he could get their fire extinguishers recharged. I gave him an 800 number for Young's Fire House in Anchorage and also the number for the Bethel Fire Station. He also wanted to know, since they now have fire hydrants, on how to use them. The Hooper Bay volunteer fire crew do not know how to use them. I recommend when he calls Young's Fire House and Bethel Fire Station to ask where they could get the training on how to use the fire hydrants. Another source is the Project Engineers for the community to see if they can show them how to use the hydrants. He wants the training done when the weather warms up. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue monitoring monthly financial and sanitation user fee reports to ensure that the utility continues to meet the 75% special grant condition.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
54 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.
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
All indicators continue to be met. Monthly financial reports and copies of statements show they are in compliance and meet the indicators. Washeteria operating costs continue to be subsized when necessary through user fees and the Yukon Fuel lease funds.

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
All of the above indicators are reviewed through reports received from the community on a monthly and quarterly basis.

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.
Yes 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 community continues to be in compliance with the essential indicators. City uses electronic deposits for payroll tax deposits.

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.
Yes 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
RUBA has on file, copies of documentation for the above indicators. The essential is checked to make sure coverage is still in place every quarter. A renewal took place after the fiscal year began in July 2006. Qualified long term staff in the City administration is a benefit to this organization.

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
All indicators continue to be met. The City continues to make sure the operators are current with certification.

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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
All indicators continue to be met. RUBA will continue to recommend to the City and operators to inform the CE2 consultants to include the inventory control and critical spare parts lists in the operations and maintenance manual for the new facility as well as the safety manual.