RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Huslia


Community:

Huslia

RUBA:

No

Staff:

Jeremy Johnson

Agreement:

No

DCA Region:

Fairbanks

Agreement Date:

8/23/2000

Region:

Interior

Exp Date:

8/23/2004

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

3/1/2011

Population:

275

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

9/27/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

The City Council operates the piped water and waste water system and maintains a central watering point (no fee) where residents come to haul water to their homes. The city also maintains a sewage lagoon and a solid waste site. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. There are 78 customers connected to the piped system. A newer water treatment facility was build and brought online during the summer of 2008 and the older facility was decommissioned in the summer of 2011.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

Huslia is a non-RUBA community. Fairbanks based Local Government Specialist staff provide face to face assistance to the long term city administrator this quarter and last quarter with reviewing and updated the city's code of ordinances. The administrator was in Fairbanks for a week and spent two days at that the Fairbanks office. After approximately a week of work, an updated draft code was provided to the administrator for presentation to the city council. A notable change was to remove the 40 percent requirement for elections. There has been no additional contact after the code updating project.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

No

All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.

No

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.

No

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:

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.

Comment:

Huslia is a non-RUBA community, as such, no financial reports were requested or received.

 

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 and the city use QuickBooks and are able to calculate payroll. Bills are sent out monthly and the utility tracks the accounts receivables. The city has, historically, had a collection rate of 95%. The utility accounting is separate from the city but both use QuickBooks. In the past the utility was provided financial support from the city's allotment of State of Alaska Community Revenue Sharing funds on an as needed basis, as of three quarters of the way through the fiscal year it does not appear that the utility will need to rely on Community Revenue Sharing funds.

 

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.

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.

Comment:

The city is compliant with the IRS. The city is compliant with the DOL.

 

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:

Online verification on September 27, 2013 indicates that the city does have workers compensation insurance, which is through AMLJIA. AML assisted in the creation of the personnel policy manual which was provided to RUBA staff for review. The city and utility have very stable staff, the most recent hire was for a janitor position eight years ago. The city administrator attends RUBA sponsored trainings in Fairbanks.

 

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:

Resolution 2009-05 for AMLJIA updated the risk management services and cooperative agreement. The city owns the utility as established in ordinance. The city council is the policy making body for the utility and is active in making policy and enforcing the current policy (this is supported by a high collection rate). The utility manager and bookkeeper functions are fulfilled by Elsie Vent who is also the city administrator, she started working for the city on March 6, 1980. She is highly capable; the office is extremely organized, she has attended previous RUBA classes and the books for the utility are in order. A copy of the utility ordinance, which gives it the authority to operate, is on file in the Fairbanks office. The city council, as the utility policy making body, meets monthly and the meetings are open to the public. A copy of the organizational chart was hanging on the city wall and a photo copy was made. The utility has two employees and the city has three employees, it is a very streamlined organization. According to the DEC Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database, all operators are certified.

 

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".

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.

Comment:

The operator, Emil Sam, is currently certified with water treatment and distribution level 1 certificates which expire December 31 2013 and 2015, respectively. The city is not on the June 2013 SNC list. A preventative maintenance plan was created in 2001 (it is a 20 year plan) by the engineering firm Montgomery Watson. This plan is large and a copy was not made but it was inspected by RUBA, it is currently housed next to the administrator's computer for easy access. The operator provides frequent updates to the manager both in person and over the phone. The manager/administrator then reiterates the information to the council at the monthly meetings. Both reports are provided orally and the summary is recorded in the meeting minutes. The administrator attends safety meeting via the telephone and then mails the lesson to each employee. The utility has an inventory and critical spare parts list for the old plant but the new lists are still being created. Devan Currier, ANTHC engineer, said in a phone call that he is creating them for the new plant.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

No specific activities scheduled. Assist as needed. Local Government Assistance maybe provided for codification.