Quarterly Report: 2010, July - September (Q1), Selawik

Community:
Selawik 
Staff:
Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Selawik 
Population:
828  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
11/6/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The community has piped water and sewer throughout the entire community; 96% of the homes are fully plumbed. Water plant upgrades and the river pump system are being evaluated now for possible future projects. DEC has been in Selawik to do a comprehensive evaluation of the water quality, which will be helpful in determining what changes need to be implemented. The City signed an agreement with the Alaska Rural Utilities Cooperative (ARUC). ARUC took over in July and fixed 95% of the glycol leaks. 8100 gallons of fuel has been delivered leaving the water/sewer system with about 30,000 gallons of fuel on hand which is 5,000 more gallons that should be needed. The waste heat system is also operating again.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff contacted the city for an updated financial monthly report, a payment plan for Alaska Village Electric Cooperative and copy of workmen's compenstion coverage. RUBA staff also provided technical assistance to the city on their regular election. RUBA advised the utility staff to attend the Employment Tax Workshop in Kotzebue and the bookkeeper did attend with successful participation. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA is working with ARUC and staff to resolve these issues in hopes to that they will meet all essential indicators before next spring.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
21 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 27
Total Score:
40 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.
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
The city adopted a balanced realistic budget listing revenues and expenses for the utility. These revenues will be used to pay utility Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) past debt since Alaska Rural Utility Colaborative (ARUC) has taken over the operations of the utility. ARUC's collection for the first month was low so they are still not receiving enough user fees to cover operating expenses but they have received and paid for their fuel for the winter. Monthly financial reports are submitted to the council for review with the written administrator's report. Budget amendments are completed as needed. Because of glycol leaks this last winter and freezing of mains, the city exhausted all their funds to keep the system from failing so do not have any funds for repair and replacement.

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.
No 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
Although the utility utilizes QuickBooks using their budget as their chart of accounts which track customers receivables, payables, payroll, cash receipts and cash disbursements how money was received and spent, they did not follow their policies for disconnection trying to save their water/sewer system. Monthly bank reconciliations were completed and monthly reports were completed but since they had to save their water/sewer system, purchasing went out of control.

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
QuickBooks accurately calculates, tracks and knows their payroll tax liabilities and they are current in filing tax reports. Due to cash flow problems they have been unable to keep current in making tax deposits and are on a repayment agreement which they are a month behind on maintaining.

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
The city has workmen's compensation coverage until June 30, 2010 that is posted in the city office. They are waiting for Permanent Dividend payments for past due accounts to pay the entire insurance bill next month. Again the city has not had any turnover in personnel so all personnel folders are still current with written job descriptions. The city still utilizes the approved Alaska Municipal League policies that provides a written evaluation process, including probationary period. ARUC has done some operator training and will do cross-training of operators so they can do water, sewer and outside plumbing work if needed.

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.
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 has the necessary ordinances to give it authority and is the known entity to operate the utility. They have an adopted organizational chart that reflects the current structure and meets as required following the open meetings act. They are are the policy making body but did not enforce their policy to disconnect customers delinquent since January 2009 to April 2009 had tried to save their entire system from freezing. The City Administrator has held the position for approximately five years. The bookeeper and certified operator are also long term employees.

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.
No Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
No 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 has a preventative maintenance plan in place but is not following it or using it to do the maintenance needed before winter. This may have been the cause for the problems the city faced last winter. The operator is certified for wastewater treatment OIT, collection OIT, water distribution 1, water treatment 2 until 2011. ARUC is working on cross training three other operators to be able to assist the city as needed. The system still is on the SNC list because it needs new hardware to resolve the violations. This will require installation of a new recorder that records higher values. A new water treatment plant is in the early stages of design but insufficient funding has stopped progress for now. Inadequate operator attention combined with lack of automation and inadequate treatment capacity have resulted in the majority of the treated water quality problems.