RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Noorvik


Community:

Noorvik

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Margaret Hansen

Agreement:

Yes

DCA Region:

Kotzebue

Agreement Date:

6/1/2011

Region:

Northwest Arctic

Exp Date:

5/30/2014

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Northwest Arctic Borough

Assessment Date:

6/24/2008

Population:

600

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

10/4/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

Water is pumped from the Kobuk River to the water treatment/utility building, and stored in a tank. From there, a pressurized circulating system distributes water in utilidors. Groundwater wells have proven unsuccessful. Noorvik has a vacuum wastewater system in which waste is carried by air instead of water. Vacuum pressure pumps the wastewater to the 60,000-gallon collection and treatment plant. The system requires special toilets and water valves which collect wastewater from the sinks, toilets and showers. Over 100 homes, the schools and businesses are served. Funds have been requested to connect and plumb the remaining 16 unserved homes on the south side of town and along River Road. For the next quarter, punch list items from the warranty inspection of the WTP upgrade project will be completed. Request final approval to operate from ACED.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

On August 28, Kotzebue LGS staff traveled to Noorvik to provide training and assistance to the city administrator and bingo manager. After arriving LGS staff spoke to city staff and decided the first thing that needed to be done was revising the unaccepted bingo annual reports for the last three years. The citys gaming license is revoked until new reports are submitted and accepted. For the next two days LGS staff worked with Noorvik staff in revising the 2010 and 2011 annual reports. The bingo manager was trained on the reporting during the revision process and is working on completing the revision for the 2012 report. The city depends on bingo revenue, which was suspended in June 2013, to pay for the utilities of all their public buildings. The revenue for this next fiscal year is needed in order to make ends meet for the city. Kotzebue LGS staff also reviewed with the city clerk the elections ordinance. Training was provided to the clerk on the process for her first election. The clerk typed out an election notice and posted it in three public places. Three election judges had already been approved. LGS staff recommended the clerk call someone else to be on call in case any of the three judges do not show up. It should also be put on the next agenda for approval. LGS and city staff reviewed the forms attached to the ordinance including a notice to post for citizens to know when they can vote absentee. Kotzebue staff also coordinated with CDBG staff on the administrators request to apply for grant funds. At the request of Kotzebue staff, the administrator provided a list of projects he was considering to apply for. After CDBG staff review of those four projects reminded him to review the handbook as those projects are ineligible for CDBG funding. CDBG staff reminded him of the upcoming training to attend to learn more on applying for CDBG funding. Kotzebue staff helped the administrator coordinate with the Maniilaq Tribal Administrator requesting to use the Noorvik IRA BIA road funds to help repair Noorvik streets. Kotzebue staff had been working with the new clerk of Noorvik over the pass two weeks preparing for her first election. Once the clerk had typed all the election forms that they are to use, Kotzebue staff reviewed them and assisted with some wording change. Kotzebue staff also reviewed with her the budget set for the election and reminded her that no tax is to be deducted as the law mandates they get paid straight time. Tribal Utility Support specialist made two separate trips to the community to assist with the completion of the warranty inspection punch list items. He also assisted the local operators in changing out old and worn copper piping within the circulation manifolds in the WTP. During this last quarter, the bookeeper received assistance utilizing the QuickBooks hotline in order to balance to reconciliations, and how to create a 941 tax form.

 

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:

As shown on the ARUC monthly financial report that is provided to the council on a monthly basis in comparison to their balanced budget, all revenues and expenses are listed showing that all water/wastewater electric bills are current and they had purchased an adequate supply of fuel to last until the next barge season. The utility is receiving user fees sufficient to cover operating expenses. The collection rate is 93% to show that revenues and expenses are at a level equal to those budgeted. The monthlly manager's report shows that no budget amendment is needed at this time.

 

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 city is an ARUC community. The city utilizes QuickBooks to track both receivables and payables. Quickbooks also provides them with an accurate accounts payable system, payroll system to calculate payroll, cash receipts system and a cash disbursements system.

 

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 an ARUC community which has reported no tax lien and that all taxes deposits are made and reports timely.

 

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 carries the insurance with AMLJIA and works with AMLJIA on employee issues. ARUC has insurance coverage until October 2014. ARUC has an legally approved personnel policy and job descriptions for all personnel which they use to evaluate, hire, providing for an probationary period that includes orientation, job training/oversight. ARUC provides training for the water plant operators and city sends administrative staff to RUBA courses as needed.

 

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 is the known entity who owns the utility. The city joined ARUC June 1, 2011 giving it authority to operator and maintain their water and sewer systems. ANTHC is providing on-site training to the operator(s)and the administrator as needed. The bookkeeper is new but utilizes the hotline quickbooks assistance via telephone.

 

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:

Noorvik has two opertors. The main operator is certified for water distribution 1 and water treatment 1, the other has a water distribution provisional. The Utility has not suffered any major problems and are operating at the level proposed. The consumer confidence report is current.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

LGS staff will travel to Noorvik as needed.