Quarterly Report: 2010, October - December (Q2), Noorvik

Community:
Noorvik 
Staff:
Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Noorvik 
Population:
600  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/22/2010 
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 sewer system in which waste is carried by air instead of water. Vacuum pressure pumps the sewage to the 60,000-gal. 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. A new landfill and access road is under development. Funds have also been requested to construct a multi-purpose facility, including a new washeteria, recreation center, Head Start, day care center, a restaurant, Native Crafts production and a food processing plant. The community is interested in using wind energy.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Noorvik hired an administrator who contacted me several times for assistance but she lasted only a few days and quit. Now they are using the Mayor as the acting administrator while they are searching for an administrator. I have been in contact with the clerk and Mayor recently to remind them of the federal ARRA stimulus funds they can apply for. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff has scheduled to travel to Noorvik on January 25th to update this assessment and provide bookkeeper training.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
21 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
39 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.
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.
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
They have passed a balanced realistic budget showing all revenues and expenses for the utility but no monthly financial reports in comparison to their budget have been submitted to the council except for profit and loss statements. The Bookkeeper has requested training and assistance in preparing an excel document to do just that. They are current in paying all electric bills and has received a years supply of fuel. Since they have not completed monthly financial reports in comparison to their budget, I have no documentation that they are receiving revenues sufficient to cover operating expenses, replacement costs or that their revenues and expenses are equal to those budgeted.

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 bookkeeper indicates that they are actively following their collection policy billing customers monthly. They are utilizing quickbooks now with an accounts receivable system in place to track customers accounts. Quickbooks also provides them with an accurate accounts payable system, payroll system to calculate payroll, cash receipts system and a cash disbursements system. They utilize their budget to categorize their chart of accounts in a usable manner. They use a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase comparing to budgeted amounts. They have not been able to keep up with bank reconciliations at this time.

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.
No 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 utility uses excel to prepare their payroll journal, track and report payroll taxes. They are working on their last quarter tax reports right now. The November-December Lien Watch reports IRS941 liens for a total of $38,027.

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.
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.
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
According to AML/JIA, the City of Noorvik has paid their insurance in full. The acting Administrator says they have posted their notice in three places within the City office building. This city is still using their old personnel policies that have not been approved by an attorner or AML. Once they hire a new administrator, they would like to make this a priority to get done. They do have updated job descriptions I have on file. While there last fall I reviewed the personnel folders and found that they follow their evaluation process, has an adequate hiring process, with a probationary period for new hires inlcuding orientation, job training and overssight. They do have I-9 completed forms in their files with their application but no letters 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.
Yes The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
Yes 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
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 council is the known entity that operates the utility who is active in policy making of the utility and enforces it. They have adopted the necessary ordinances to give it authority and follows the adopted organizational chart meeting monthly as required. They are now advertising for a city administrator and the bookkeeper stills needs more training especially in monthly financial reporting in comparison to their budget. They still enjoy their certified operator of three years who continues to attend any training he needs to keep his certification.

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
This operator is certified in wastewater collection and treatment 1, water treatment and distribution 1. He continues to attend all course offerings in Kotzebue to keep up his certification. He is doing a very good job of following his preventative maintenance plan keeping up with his inventory and critical spare parts list. He reports to the city administrator on a daily basis who spot checks his work. Has not held any safety meetings this last quarter but has not suffered any major problems that are unresolved. They are operating at the level proposed reporting to the council monthly. They have submitted their CCR. They are currently on the SNC list due to high source of water turbidity. Water Plant Upgrades were postponed by ANTHC. Planned for next summer. Existing direct inflitration system is challenged to meet turbidity standards.