RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Deering


Community:

Deering

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Margaret Hansen

Agreement:

Yes

DCA Region:

Kotzebue

Agreement Date:

Region:

Northwest Arctic

Exp Date:

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Northwest Arctic Borough

Assessment Date:

5/13/2012

Population:

133

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

10/4/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

The City of Deering operates the piped wastewater and water haul system, as well as a 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 city has purchased additional equipment to facilitate the delivery of water in an efficient manner. The wastewater system is a vacuum system that is piped to a lagoon. Upgrades have been completed to the water treatment plant and wastewater collection lines. The existing infiltration gallery has also been upgraded and these improvements support the existing water haul and vacuum wastewater system. An additional water storage tank was installed in 2006 and lines upgraded from the tanks to the water treatment plant. The city has a current DEC permit for the wastewater lagoon. DEC has requested updates to reflect design changes made during construction. For future installation of water and wastewater upgrades. The draft feasibility study is still in the review process. Village Safe Water(VSW) is concerned with the appearance of a cave-in in the Wastewater Lagoon.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

RUBA staff has provided assistance to Deering throughout the quarter. In July, RUBA staff provided telephone support to the administrator. RUBA staff reviewed the monthly financial report then discussed it with the administrator providing feed back before he submitted it to the council. RUBA staff also reviewed and commented on their Certified Financial Statement (CFS) for FY 13. The CFS includes revenue and expenses for the washeteria, which also provides a watering point for the community. In August, RUBA staff traveled to Deering to provide training and assistance to interim staff of the city to complete financials in order to apply for a bulk fuel loan for the city owned Ipnatchiaq Electric Comapany and washeteria, which provides a watering point for the community. RUBA staff also assisted in completing four months of PCE reports. The city had been given notice that they would lose PCE credits if reports since March 2013 were not submitted by August 30, 2013. PCE reimbursement helps subsidize the washeteria. Once the reports are accepted, the city will receive $34,562.19 in PCE reimbursements. In September, RUBA staff coordinated with the city and Crowley to ascertain that the fuel would be received. RUBA staff assisted in making sure Crowley had the name and phone number of the person to help unloaded the 60,000 gallons of diesel, which included fuel for the utility.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The city is a partial ARUC community. ARUC bills for the water services and those systems connected to the water system. The city manages the washeteria, which provides a water point for the residents not on the piped system. The city subsidizes the water utility for the residents at $15,000 a year in order to keep its rates at the current level. Their collection rate is at 76 percent for the month of August 2013. ARUC received fuel via barge in August 2013 to supply the utility for the year.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The utility has adopted a collection policy. ARUC bills for the wastewater utility and the city invoices the sale of potable water. The city uses QuickBooks for accounts payable, cash receipts and cash disbursement. The city uses the budget as the chart of accounts. An excel document is prepared monthly reporting revenues and expenditures in comparison to the budget. Before purchases are made, this monthly report is used to gain approval to budgeted amounts.

 

Capacity Indicator: Tax Problems

Essential Indicators:

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.

Comment:

The city utilizes QuickBooks to accurately calculate, track and report payroll tax liabilities and currently uses a bank to provide payroll services for employees pay as well as tax payments. Payroll liabilities are paid as required. No tax liens are reported.

 

Capacity Indicator: Personnel System

Essential Indicators:

Yes

The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.

Sustainable Indicators:

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.

Comment:

The city's workers compensation insurance policy is current. The updated personnel policies are under review by the city attorney and will be presented to the administrator and council after final review. The city still has not received a final response to the review of policies by the attorney.

 

Capacity Indicator: Organizational Management

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The city council is the known entity who oversees the utility. The council has adopted ordinances to give it authority to operate. There is an organizational chart that reflects the current structure. At the council meetings the council complies with the open meetings act. Notices for meetings are posted at three public places at least five days in advance. The city has two operators. The main operator attended training and received certification for water distribution provisional. The alternate operator has attended training for certification but has not received it.

 

Capacity Indicator: Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The community wastewater system and plant are managed by ARUC. The City of Deering is on the SNC list for high DBP's, but has done well on monitoring. Village Safe Water is studying the source water in preparation for designing a new treatment system. No new information on the hardware of the water treatment plant has been received. The current treatment system still does not meet LT1 for Cryptosporidium remove but does meet SWTR Giardia removal requirements.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

Kotzebue staff will continue to work with the administrator with financial management issues.