RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Newhalen


Community:

Newhalen

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Robin Eleazer

Agreement:

Yes

DCA Region:

Anchorage

Agreement Date:

9/18/2006

Region:

Alaska Peninsula

Exp Date:

9/18/2008

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Lake & Peninsula Borough

Assessment Date:

4/22/2008

Population:

190

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

9/27/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

In fall 2009, the City of Newhalen signed a participation agreement with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative (ANTHC/ARUC). The goal of the agreement is to more effectively manage water and wastewater operations within the community. Water obtained from a well is treated at the pumphouse. A piped system serves 29 homes. A piped sewage system serves 10 homes and facilities, and 6 homes use individual septic systems. Most residences are fully plumbed. The city provides septic pumping services. The school recycles aluminum and newspapers. The Iliamna-Newhalen-Nondalton (INN) Electric Cooperative owns a diesel plant in Newhalen and 50 miles of distribution line which connect the three communities. The Tazmina Hydroelectric Project has been completed, and powers Iliamna, Newhalen and Nondalton.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

ARUC, in agreement with the City of Newhalen, continues to manage the community's water and wastewater operations. ARUC monthly financial reports were submitted for August 2013. DCRA received verification from the IRS dated August 30, 2013, for the period of 1/1/2013 to 3/31/2013 of ANTHC's compliance with employment tax filing requirements, and federal tax deposit requirements. There are no recorded notices of any federal tax liens.

 

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.

No

A monthly manager's report is prepared.

Yes

Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.

Comment:

DCRA has received monthly financial reports in the past which indicate that the city may be operating at a loss. The city contracted with ARUC to help with the billing and collection, and the technical and operational services. DCRA received ARUC's Newhalen financial reports for August 2013.

 

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 administrator has set up some accounts (primarily payroll) in QuickBooks. The community has contracted with ARUC for billing and collections, however. Further information may be forthcoming to verify other essential and sustainable indicators. DCRA received ARUC's spreadsheets for Newhalen for August 2013.

 

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.

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.

Comment:

ARUC uses accounting software to process payroll out of their Anchorage office. DCRA received verification from the IRS dated August 30, 2013, that states ANTHC's compliance with employment tax filing requirements, federal tax deposits requirements and has no record of a federal lien. The city is not listed on the lien watch.

 

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:

ARUC water plant operators are under ANTHC personnel policy, hiring process, job descriptions, and the consortium provides training for its employees.

 

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 of Newhalen owns the water and wastewater utility. In September 2009, the city entered a participation agreement with ARUC to help with the utility operations, billing and collection systems.

 

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 ARUC is operating the utility under a participation agreement with city in fall 2009.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA staff will monitor ARUC reports and provide assistance as requested.