Quarterly Report: 2012, July - September (Q1), Deering

Community:
Deering 
Staff:
Georgianna Phillips  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Deering 
Population:
133  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/26/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Deering operates the piped sewer and water haul system, as well as the central washeteria. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. Water is derived from the Inmachuk River; it is treated and pumped to a 400,000-gallon insulated storage tank. Residents pay to have water delivered to their homes. The sewage system is a vacuum system that is piped to a lagoon. A new washeteria, water treatment plant, and sewage collection lines are completed. An additional water storage tank was completed in 2006 and upgraded lines from the tanks to the water treatment plant have been completed. The City has a DEC permit for the sewage lagoon, but DEC wants them to update it to reflect design changes made during construction. RUBA is working with the engineer and DEC to allow time for an in depth study to determine whether the system can be fixed, or needs to be replaced. The feasibility study stands at approximately 65% complete and VSW is concerned with the appearance of a cave-in in the Sewage Lagoon. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Kotzebue RUBA staff and a DCRA QuickBooks contractor traveled to Deering in May to provide onsite assistance with QuickBooks accounting problems. To date the administrator has been able to reconcile statements and produce payroll with the system but is still unable to accurately report their financials with the proper expenditures to date. The administrator is able to produce the reports but unable to correct entries and/or changes/corrections to the QuickBooks system. RUBA staff has made noted corrections to the financial reports provided but the administrator is the only person in the office and also helps in other areas of city business when needed for lack of personnel. Completion of a water storage tank and transmission main was done, but has some warranty issues to be addressed in the future. The existing infiltration gallery has been upgraded. The improvements support the existing water haul and cacuum sewer system. Currently at 75% complettion a santitation study is being completed by VSW to evaluate sanitation deficiencies including the lagoon and water treatment systems and to also look at the feasibility of providing piped water.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff is assisting and reviewing the city code for compliance. RUBA staff will continue working with the administrator on making adjustments to the city financials.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 27
Total Score:
44 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
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 city is currently in assisted billing with ARUC. The administrator has not made corrective journal entries needed to assign expenditures to budgeted items. The administrator is able to report what is the balance in the bank and what bills are due, but is unable to produce a cohesive financial document.

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
The utility has adopted a collection policy through ARUC/ANTHC as they are currently on Assisted billing for their sewer and do notifiy customers of past due bills. Disconnection notices are being sent to the customers. The City is still on assisted billing with ARUC/ANTHC and the administrator has met to discuss joining, but no decision has been made by the council at this time. The customers are billed for water on a regular basis by using quickbooks. Currently ARUC bills for the Sewer Utility and the City does the Water and Garbage. Since the City makes deliveries by the gallon there was not a system in which it would be feasible for ARUC to bill customers. They also use quickbooks for accounts payable, payroll, cash receipts and cash disbursement that records incoming money and how it was spent. They use their budget as the chart of accounts reconciling their transactions monthly. The city has an purchasing system that require approval prior to purchase 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.
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 utilizes quickbooks to accurately calculate, track and report payroll tax liabilities. Per completed tax authorization form, they are current in filing tax reports, making deposits and have no lien at this time.

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.
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
The city has renewed its insurance. The city has adopted a personnel policy that has been reviewed by AML, along with adequate job descriptions. The policies have an adequate hiring process and a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation and job training but no known evaluations were found on file as well as letter of acceptance. Currently the City employees an Administrator and Water Treatment Plant operators.

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.
No 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.
No 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 is the known entity who oversees the utility who adopted ordinances to give it authority with an organizational chart that reflects the current structure. When they meet, they comply with the open meetings act which includes posting the meeting notices at three public places at least five days in advance. The city has hired a new operator who has attended class but did not pass the exam. The next class that will be offered is not scheduled for mid-winter or spring by Maniilaq Association, Environmental Health Services.

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".
No 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
The City of Deering is no longer listed on the SNC list as of April 2011 SNC report. The new administrator does spot check the facilities to make sure that maintenance is being completed and receives a report from the operator who assures that his inventory and critical spare parts list is maintained. The city has a safety manual and the administrator discusses with the operator any safety issues that may have arisen. No known outages due to management issues so they are operating a the level of service proposed. The city did hire a new plant operator but was unable to pass the exam. The plant operator will again attend the next class offered.