RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Saint Michael


Community:

Saint Michael

RUBA:

No

Staff:

Iura Leahu

Agreement:

No

DCA Region:

Nome

Agreement Date:

Region:

Bering Straits

Exp Date:

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

5/3/2006

Population:

445

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

10/2/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

Currently, water is pumped from Clear Lake, approximately five miles north of the community and stored in a 1.2 million gallon water storage tank. The water is then pumped from the 1.2 million gallon tank, filtered, disinfected, and stored in a 400,000-gallon water storage tank for consumption. Wastewater is collected at the vacuum plant and pumped via forcemain to a wastewater treatment area northeast of the community. A new sanitation system was completed during the summer of 2005 to provide piped water and vacuum wastewater service, and residential plumbing to the homes in the community. At present, 99 percent of the homes are served by the system. A washeteria upgrade was completed in 2004 that completely renovated the washeteria. The water treatment plant is under renovation to meet compliance with the Surface Water Treatment Rule.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

Alaska Rural Utilities Collaborative (ARUC) provides full management and operation services to the city's water and wastewater utility. This quarter, Nome RUBA staff had several telephone and email contacts with the city administrator. LGS staff provided assistance with municipal elections, local option elections and assessment of municipal real estate.

 

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 Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ARUC) provides the community and RUBA staff monthly finance reports comparing year-to-date, monthly, and annually budgeted revenues and expenditures for the utility. The fiscal year for ANTHC starts on October 1 and ends on September 30 the following year, same as the federal fiscal year. ARUC passed its budget for the water and wastewater department before the beginning of the FFY and is now implementing it. For the federal fiscal year (FFY) '13, beginning on October 1, 2012, ARUC budgeted $304.170 in revenues and $266,783 in expenditures. For the month of May, 2013, ARUC's St. Michael collection rate was over 100 percent because more revenues were collect from residential customers than expected in April and May.

 

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:

ARUC water/wastewater ordinance contains a collection policy section. ARUC manages utility billing, accounts payable, receivable, and payroll processing.

 

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:

The city's utility is managed by ARUC who is responsible for accurately calculating, tracking, and reporting payroll tax liabilities. On September, 2013, RUBA staff received confirmation from the IRS and Department of Labor that the city is current with all tax reports and deposits. ARUC is also current with all tax reports and deposits.

 

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 utility's worker's compensation insurance policy is provided through ARUC. The city council is in the process of revising its personnel policies. RUBA staff provided on-site assistance to the city council and staff and made recommendations on how it can go through the process.

 

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 has a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with ARUC to operate its utility. Through the MOA, ARUC has the authority to set rates, ordinances, policies, and procedures for the utility. The municipal election was held with no major issues by the newly rehired city clerk, Richard Elachik. Mayor Milton Cheemuk was re-elected as mayor. The city council acts as the utility board.

 

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:

ARUC manages the city's utility operator(s) and has a preventative maintenance plan in place for the utility. RUBA staff verified that as of April, 2012, the city is not on the Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list. The city clerk has completed the 2011 CCR.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

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