Quarterly Report: 2010, January - March (Q3), Shishmaref

Community:
Shishmaref 
Staff:
Steve Brock  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Shishmaref 
Population:
609  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/10/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Shishmaref operates a central watering point, a water truck delivery service, multiple watering points, and a washeteria. They also provide a honey bucket service. The city council is the policy making body for the utility. Water is derived from a surface source; it is treated and stored in a new tank. Shishmaref is undergoing major improvements, with the construction of a flush/haul system and household plumbing. Nineteen HUD homes have been completed, and 71 homes remain. The new system provides water delivery, but the unserved homes continue to haul their own water. The City hauls honeybuckets and services the new flush tanks. The school, clinic, Friendship Center, city hall and fire hall are connected to a sewage lagoon. A new landfill is planned for the City; an access road is under construction.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
At the request of the Shishmaref City Council, Nome RUBA staff traveled to Shishmaref on December 3-4, 2009 to review city finances. RUBA met with the city council to discuss on-going financial issues, utility collections, and sales tax collections. A council member suggested waiving penalties and interest if a payment plan with the city is signed or the amount past due is paid upon demand. RUBA recommended that the city enforce local collections ordinances and stated that with council consensus those ordinances may be changed. If the collection strategy does not work, the city may pursue small claims court assistance. Even though the community of Shishmaref is not in the Bering Sea/Norton Sound region, Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation provides limited financial assistance as it does to the member communities in the region. This has enabled the city to purchase fuel oil and insurance coverage with minimal costs to the city. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff will continue to provide telephonic assistance as needed. There are no significant issues for the city-run utilities this quarter.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 27
Total Score:
52 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.
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 total revenues expected for FY '10 combined is $189,000. The Year-To-Date (YTD) collected is about $62,000, which is about 33% revenues collected so far. The city provides limited water haul and septic haul services. Most of the utility revenues is from washeteria. The total expenditures to October are about $90,000. The city expects the revenue and expenditure balances to even out by the end of the fiscal year.

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.
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 city bookkeeper has excellent financial management experience and uses it to the advantage of the city. The utility bills and records are very accurate and meticulously kept. All incoming revenues are identified and properly credited to the proper revenue category.

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.
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.
Tax Problems Comments
The city is up-to-date on all tax liabilities and all tax reports are properly done and submitted in a timely manner. At one time, the city's past due tax liabilities were about half of the total debts owed. Recently, RUBA staff worked with the city bookkeeper to get off the Quarterly Tax Lien Watch report as the amount due that was listed was already paid off.

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.
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.
Personnel System Comments
<none>

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
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.
Organizational Management Comments
The Shishmaref city council acts as the utility board. Mayor Howard Weyiouanna's term expired, but was re-elected to the city council. He was selected again as mayor for 2009/10. The city council meets regularly each month and has utility issues as part of the regular agenda. The city council is planning to make several revisions to the 2010 budget.

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
According to the latest report city is still on the Significant Non-Complier list for Stage 1 violation. The Remote Maintenance Worker is working with the city's utility operators to get them off the list.