Quarterly Report: 2009, July - September (Q1), New Stuyahok

Community:
New Stuyahok 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of New Stuyahok 
Population:
448  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
11/17/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well and is treated. The majority of the community (roughly 94 households), facilities and the school are connected to a piped water and sewer system installed in 1971 and have complete plumbing. Some residents use individual wells and septic tanks; roughly six homes are without complete plumbing. Electricity is provided by AVEC. The city coordinates landfill management with the village council. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA traveled to New Stuyahok July 30, 2008 - August 1, 2008 to assist city staff with utility management and update the RUBA Assessment of Management Indicators, a special sanitation grant condition. City staff are presently working to resolve deficient RUBA assessment essential indicators. RUBA provided assistance to the city administrator and water operator with tasks including financial report assembly and budgeting during the quarter. In project-related matters, the city anticipates timely completion of the sewage lagoon renovation by fall 2008. Construction of the new public school and teacher housing continues. The school is expected to be ready for occupation by late 2008. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with the city, continue to provide recommendations, and offer onsite assistance in the coming quarter.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
24 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
45 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No 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
Answer Question
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.
Finances Comments
The city adopted an FY 2009 budget however the water/sewer budget does not contain some critical items including water lab testing fees. RUBA recommended a budget amendment for the water/sewer budget and offered assistance with the amendment. The city indicated plans to amend the water/sewer budget by October 14, 2008. According to city reports, year-to-date water/sewer revenues are exceeding expenses. Fuel supplies are reportedly sufficient at this time. The water operator presents monthly operational reports to the council; the administrator presents utility financial reports.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
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
Answer Question
Yes A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.
No 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 enforces the water/sewer ordinance which includes a collections policy. The city continues with a contract for utility billing in coordination with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and is in talks with ANTHC about participation in the statewide utility cooperative, the Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative. Staff utilizes QuickBooks accounting software for payroll processing. RUBA recommends staff reconcile all bank accounts monthly.

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.
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.
Tax Problems Comments
According to correspondence from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service correspondence dated September 29, 2008, the city is presently complying with most but not all federal tax obligations. Concerning state employment security tax, the state Department of Labor, Employment Security Division confirmed compliance through June 30, 2008 in correspondence dated October 16, 2008.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.
No 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.
No 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.
Personnel System Comments
The city's employer's notice of insurance through AMLJIA shows coverage for a one-year period ending July 1, 2009. City staff continues reviewing personnel policy and administrative procedures and periodically requests input from RUBA.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
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
Answer Question
No 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.
Organizational Management Comments
The city operates the utility under the authority of a city ordinance. The utility operates under a Provisional Certificate granted by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. The city administrator and city clerk, both trained and experienced, handle accounting and recordkeeping primarily with QuickBooks accounting software. A certified water operator oversees utility operations. RUBA continues to recommend an alternate water operator be hired and trained to help ensure continuity.

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.
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.
Operation of Utility Comments
The Water Operator is certified at the OIT level for water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment. Utility staff maintain a preventative maintenance plan and maintains contact with Remote Maintenance Worker. RUBA recommends safety meetings and suggests formation of a safety committee. The utility published its 2006 Consumer Confidence Report timely. According to an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) report dated August 8, 2008, the utility is presently on the SNC list for failure to conduct required monitoring for inorganics. RUBA recommends the city return to compliance by following ADEC instructions concerning sampling requirements.