Quarterly Report: 2011, July - September (Q1), Deering

Community:
Deering 
Staff:
Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Deering 
Population:
133  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/2/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Deering operates the piped sewer and water haul system, as well as the central washeteria. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. Water is derived from the Inmachuk River; it is treated and pumped to a 400,000-gallon insulated storage tank. Residents pay to have water delivered to their homes. The sewage system is a vacuum system that is piped to a lagoon. A new washeteria, water treatment plant, and sewage collection lines are completed. An additional water storage tank was completed in 2006 and upgraded lines from the tanks to the water treatment plant have been completed. The City has a DEC permit for the sewage lagoon, but DEC wants them to update it to reflect design changes made during construction. RUBA is working with the engineer and DEC to allow time for an in depth study to determine whether the system can be fixed, or needs to be replaced.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Kotzebue RUBA traveled to Deering on August 11-13 and September 29-October 1, 2010. While onsite, RUBA staff provided the city clerk with assistance in preparing for the regular election, completing documents to qualify for the community revenue shairn, setting up monthly finance report formating QuickBooks files, and amending federal tax reports. The clerk training in August quit and a return visit was made in September to retrain the newest clerk on elections, financial reports and payroll. RUBA staff also met with the utility manager regarding the Bulk Fuel Bridge Loan application. An application for fuel loan to Alaska Energy Authority had been denied as the utility had not submitted Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) reports for two years. Powere Cost Equalization (PCE) subsidies have not been received for lack of these reports, however the utility is still required to provide customers with the PCE credit. RUBA will assist the community in completing the reprots to allow them reinstatement on the PCE program. Kotzebue RUBA staff has also provided assistance to the community on several deficient RUBA essential indicators. The constant turnover in staff has made progress in meeting RUBA indicators a challenge. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The City Administrator has requested more training and assistance from the Kotzebue staff who will schedule a trip this next quarter.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
18 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
16 of 27
Total Score:
34 of 54

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
Yes 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.
Yes 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
Answer Question
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.
Finances Comments
Monthly financial reports have not been provided to Kotzebue staff. The administrator stated that he is having computer problems so we do not know if he is receiving revenues sufficient to cover operating costs nor do we know if his revenues and expenses are at a level equal to those budgeted or whether or not he needs to do a budget amendment. He has not been able to get the council to hold their monthly meetings so have not prepared a manager's report to the council. in speaking to Ipnatchiaq electric, he has not paid any utiity bills since October.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
Answer Question
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.
Accounting Systems Comments
The utility has adopted a collection policy but has not been able to actively follow it because they have not been able to meet regularly due to no quorum. The customers are being billed on a regular basis by using quickbooks who tracks customers and reports past due amounts. They also use quickbooks for accounts payalbe, payroll, cash receipts and cash disbursement that records incoming money and how it was spent. They use their budget as the chart of accounts reconciling their transactions monthly. The city has an purchasing system that require approval prior to purchase to budgeted amounts.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
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.
No 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.
Tax Problems Comments
The city still utilizes quickbooks to accurately calculate, track and report payroll tax liabilities. Per completed tax authorization form, they are current in filing tax rpoerts, making deposits and have no lien at this time.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
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.
No 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.
No The utility has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least: I-9, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance.
No 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.
Personnel System Comments
The city has paid in full their workmens compensation which is posted in the city office building effective until July 2011. The city has adopted a personnel policy that has been reviewed by AML, along with adequate job descriptions. Their policies has an adequate hiring process has a probationary period for new hires that inlcudes orientation and job training but no known evaluations were found on file as well as letter of acceptance.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
No The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No 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
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
No The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The city council is the known entity who oversees the utility who adopted ordinances to give it authority with an organizational chart that reflects the current structure. Because the council has not been able to meet regularly, they are not active in policy making for the utility or enforcing of the utility policy. But when they do meet, they comply with the open meetings act which includes posting the meeting notices at three public places at least five days in advance. The administrator of five months needs more training who also acts as the bookkeeper. Although his operator lost his certification by not attending courses offered, he is trained to operate their system.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
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
Answer Question
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.
No 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.
Operation of Utility Comments
Kotzebue staff have met with the engineers and administrator advocating the operator attend the Intro to small water systems training to be held in Nome this month. The new administrator does spot check the facilities to make sure that maintenance is being completed and receives a report from the operator who assures that his inventory and critical spare parts list is maintained. Although the city has a safety manual, no known safety meetings have been held. No known outages due to management issues so they are operating a the level of service proposed.