Quarterly Report: 2014, October - December (Q2), Nondalton

Community:
Nondalton 
Staff:
Roberta Eleazer  
DCRA Regional Office:
Anchorage 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
Lake and Peninsula Borough 
Agreement?
Yes 
Agreement Date:
6/6/2006 
Entity:
City of Nondalton 
Population:
178 (2012 DCCED certified estimate) 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
2/13/2012 
Exp Date:
6/6/2008 
Last Updated:
12/23/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Nondalton operates the piped water and wastewater system and provides a central watering point for residents to haul their own water. The city provides water to the school, hauls garbage, sells fuel, plows snow from city roads and maintains the airport runway. In January 2014, Nondalton's utility treatment plant will be completely renovated, a 20,000 gallon chlorine contact tank will be installed, and there will be five new service connections. The city has rental income from leasing the clinic building; they own the building that is leased to the federal government as a Post Office. The city council is the policy-making body for the utility; effectively, the city council serves as the utility board. An infiltration gallery at Six-Mile Lake supplies the community with treated water. They pump and treat 80,000 to 100,000 gallons a day. There are 88,000 gallons of storage capacity and 60 residences are connected to the piped water and wastewater system. There are three non-metered summer lodges which provide seasonal service from June to September. The water utility is on the October SNC list. Baffles were installed over the summer in the contact tank however; the chlorine pump is still causing issues. The renovation the utility building is scheduled to be complete January 2014. The INN Electric Cooperative owns a diesel plant in Newhalen and 50 miles of distribution line which connect Iliamna, Newhalen and Nondalton. The Tazimina Hydroelectric Project powers the three communities.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Nondalton city staff continues to take advantage of all RUBA scheduled trainings. Nondalton Vice-Mayor Joanne Tefron attended elected officials and Kathryn Tefron, organizational management training. Additionally staff participates in bimonthly web-training through Alaska Public Entity Insurance which provides credits towards lower monthly rates. Anchorage RUBA staff assisted Administrative Assistant Dawayne Constantine with the completion of the codification of their ordinances and providing an electronic file. The ordinances are in the process of being edited and the city council will discuss the need for amending any ordinances based on recommendations from Mr. Constantine. Nondalton implemented a sales tax on guiding, lodging and restaurants; however, they have been unsuccessful in collect payments. In 2003, a meeting was held with the lodges about the back taxes owed to the city and offer was extended to forgive past debts if the lodges would start payments. Anchorage RUBA staff discussed metering the lodges and amending the utility ordinance to collect a fair and just rate. After presenting this option to the administrative assistant it was decided that RUBA would do a rate study and provide information to the council on the utility adding a seasonal rate for the utility. The city is applying for a gaming and pull-tab permit in order to raise money throughout the year for an annual winter carnival, with any leftover revenue to supplement the city's operating expenses. Two city staff attended a one-day IRS workshop conducted by the Office of Indian Tribal Governments and the State of Alaska's gaming unit. Workshop presenters provided information and answered questions regarding federal and state regulations on pull-tab and gaming activities, permitting, and financial and tax reporting requirements. The city has recently acquired a facility for the activities. The city continues to meet all its essential utility management capacity indicators and all but one of its 27 sustainable indicators.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with city staff to organize, digitize and codify the city's code of ordinances, merging new and amended ordinances with the code of ordinances adopted in 1990, and to assist them with complying with the RUBA quarterly reporting requirements. RUBA staff will conduct a rate study for the utility and conduct a RUBA assessment in February. RUBA staff is available to provide assistance requested so the city can continue to provide excellent utility services to its residents.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
26 of 27
Total Score:
53 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 FY14 budget was adopted on June 11, 2013. All revenue and expenses for the utility are listed in the overall budget. The budget is realistic and balanced. The budget lists operating revenue at $97,000 and is based on a 85% utility collections rate. Utility expenditures are listed at $92,000.

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 accountant supplied a profit & loss statement for the landfill, water and sewer and the FY14 budget. An accounts payable system is in place. The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records. A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent. A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner. The administrator provided a chart of accounts and an actual utility bill. Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts. The utility has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase, and the approval process compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts. The mayor approves all purchases. The city administrator and the city clerk both input data into QuickBooks. In addition, a Certified Public Accountant, Joyce Herr, is paid a regular salary to review all the accounts monthly and sometimes more frequently. The administrator and clerk call the CPA whenever they have a question. The same CPA completed a Certified Financial Statement for the city last year. She keeps her own version of the city's books so she can quickly identify and rectify any discrepancies that may come up in her review of the QuickBook entries the city administrator or clerk makes in the city's QuickBooks program, and to provide direct instruction. The city's utility collection rate is 100% and there are no past due accounts.

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
Tax clearance with the State Department of Labor was verified, as of December 20, 2013. The IRS informed Nondalton City Council that for the tax periods ending June 30, 2011 through September 30, 2013 they are due a credit balance. They were asked to contact the service center to have the credit released or applied to another tax period.

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
Workers compensation insurance is provided by Alaska Public Entity Insurance and is valid as of December 2013. The notice of insurance is posted in city hall and in two other places on the employer's premises as required by AS 23.30.060. The city utilizes a personnel policy that was previously reviewed by DCCED. During the assessment, the reviewer noted that the city had written job descriptions, personnel files were neatly organized, and contained required documentation. New hires undergo a probationary period and employees have the opportunity to travel for training as needed. There is money for training in the current budget. Nondalton city staff takes advantage of all RUBA scheduled trainings. Nondalton Vice-Mayor Joanne Tefron attended elected officials and Kathryn Tefron, organizational management training. Additionally staff participates in bimonthly web-training through Alaska Public Entity Insurance which provides credits towards lower monthly rates.

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 City of Nondalton is the owner of the utility. The decision-making authority and enforcement of the utility policy is vested in the council. The city administrator has oversight of the utility and maintains the books for the utility with the assistance of a Certified Public Accountant. The city clerk makes some entries in the books as well, mainly to do with fuel sales. The CPA reviews the city's QuickBooks accounts regularly and compares them with her own books which are kept separately, both as a check-and-balance system and as a back-up in the event the city's QuickBook files are corrupted or destroyed. Anchorage RUBA staff assisted Administrative Assistant Dawayne Constantine with the completion of the codification of their ordinances and providing an electronic file. The ordinances are in the process of being edited and the city council will discuss the need for amending any ordinances based on recommendations from Mr. Constantine. The water plant operator sees that the day-to-day duties of the plant are performed with oversight by the city administrator and mayor. The mayor visits the water plant daily on weekdays and talks to the water plant operator on duty. The policy-making body - the city council - is active in making policy for the utility and enforces utility policy. The bookkeeper and manager and operators are adequately trained. The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances to give it the authority to operate. RUBA staff reviewed the city's utility ordinance and all amendments and found it to be adequate. The city council (which acts as the utility board) meets monthly and complies with the Open Meetings Act for all meetings.

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 utility operator has a Water Distribution Provisional Certification and has met the CEU requirements. The primary and secondary utility operator attended water operator training in Dillingham April 16-20, 2012. The backup operator has a Water Distribution and Water Treatment Provisional Certification and has met the CEU requirements. After the overhaul of the operating plant is completed in the fall, the operators will get additional training on the new system. The mayor visits the utility plant facility every weekday, and sometimes on weekends, to talk with the operator on duty and to determine whether the daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance requirements are met; this meets the requirement for the operator to provide status reports to the utility manager (in this case, the mayor) on a routine basis. The primary utility operator gives a verbal operations and management report to the mayor and city administrator at least monthly. The city has a written safety policy and a safety manual that is kept onsite. The administrator gave RUBA staff a copy of the city's safety policy. In addition, the city has a Site Specific Safety Plan and Accident Prevention Plan for their Water System Improvements Project that is 18 pages long which was prepared for the city and ANTHC by Summit Consulting Services, Inc. in June 2008. The utility facilities have not suffered any major problems or outages due to management issues that are unresolved. The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed. The administrator also gave RUBA staff a copy of the 'Water and Sewer Critical Spare Parts List and Inventory' that was updated by the water operator on February 1, 2012, in addition to a copy of the Maintenance Order Request Form that must be submitted and approved by the mayor.