RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Elim


Community:

Elim

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Leroy Seppilu

Agreement:

Yes

DCA Region:

Nome

Agreement Date:

8/12/2008

Region:

Bering Straits

Exp Date:

8/12/2010

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

9/12/2007

Population:

309

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

10/4/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

Water is derived from a well and is treated. Water and wastewater systems built by BIA in 1974, along with housing provided by BIA and HUD, have provided residents with piped water and wastewater, indoor water heaters and plumbing and in-home washers and dryers. Waste flows out to a wastewater treatment plant with ocean outfall. The landfill is not permitted. The city needs a new water source, since water shortages occur and cracked PVC pipes need to be replaced.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

The city council acts as a utility board for the city's water and wastewater department. In August, RUBA staff made an on-site visit to Elim to make provide election training and assist with election preparations to ensure procedures were being done correctly. While on-site, RUBA staff reviewed and discussed election procedures with the city clerk. The council has one vacant seat, which has two years left on the term. The clerk had not listed the seat on the ballot as the council had decided to make an appointment. RUBA staff explained to the mayor that if an appointment was made, that appointment would expire on the next election and another appoint would have to be made. The mayor agreed and the vacant seat was placed on the ballot as a two-year term. During fiscal year 2013 (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013), the water and wastewater department revenues totaled $117,264.00 and expenditures were $132,245.00. In the FY 14 budget, the council budgeted $90,000 for revenues and expenditures of $114,800. RUBA staff pointed out the discrepancy to the mayor. RUBA staff recommended that the city council amend those budget figures to reflect the more actual earnings and expenditures based on previous years. RUBA staff offered assistance in amending the budget.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

Yes

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.

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:

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.

Yes

A monthly manager's report is prepared.

Yes

Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.

Comment:

A review of the city's FY14 budget for the water and wastewater showed that last fiscal year, the department operated with a deficit of about $15,000. The FY 14 budget lists revenues at $90,000, with the expected expenditures of $114,580. The expected revenues should be about the same as last year's revenues of at least $117,000. The city council needs to amend the FY14 budget for the department. The city bookkeeper is about two months behind with preparing and making financial reports to the council. She is making efforts to complete the reports. When the expenses are more than usual, the city uses revenues from sales tax and Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation's Community Benefits Share Program funds.

 

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 a comprehensive collection policy and actively follows it. The utility bills customers on a regular basis using QuickBooks. An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts. An accounts payable system is in place. The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records. A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent. The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent. The permanent city bookkeeper is on extended medical leave but is consulted with for any financial questions. The city bookkeeper uses QuickBooks for billing, payroll and payroll taxes, tax reports and monthly financial report preparations.

 

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 has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities. The city is current on filing ESC and 941 quarterly tax reports. The city is current on making tax deposits. The city does not have any past due tax liabilities.

 

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 has a current general liability and workers' compensation coverage through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). As required by State law, the city has a posted workers' compensation policy. The policy is in effect from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. The utility has adopted and uses a personnel policy. The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions. The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation. The utility has an adequate written hiring process, and has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least a completed I-9 form, job application and letter of acceptance. The utility has a probationary period for new hires. Orientation and evaluations are conducted. The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available. The city council recently revised its personnel policies to change the pay period from bi-weekly to weekly payday to attempt to deal with and control the payroll advances. The city council has been sending some of its employees to RUBA sponsored training classes and those that attend have excelled in the classes.

 

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 policy making body of the water and wastewater department. Water and wastewater issues are included as an agenda item in its regular monthly reports. All the water and wastewater employees are adequately trained and able employees. In the absence of the mayor, the vice-mayor comes in daily to actively make day-to-day decisions affecting the water and wastewater department's issues. The water and wastewater ordinance is being revised, but will essentially remain the same.

 

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 operators are certified to the level of water and wastewater service for the city. The operators work closely with the area Remote Maintenance Worker on operational issues. The employees attend the telephonic safety meetings sponsored by the city's workers' compensation provider. The operators work closely with the supervisor as needed and order supplies and equipment to efficiently operate the utility system. The city is not on the SNC list. The utilty maintains an inventory control list and a critical spare parts list.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA staff will work with the city council and the city bookkeeper to revise the water and wastewater budget ordinance. It is recommended the FY14 budget be amended. The estimated revenues for FY14 are under reported in the budget. The revision will reflect and be based on revenues received in FY13. RUBA staff will continue to work with the city council and city clerk to update the city's code of ordinances, including the water and wastewater ordinance.