Quarterly Report: 2007, July - September (Q1), Nondalton

Community:
Nondalton 
Staff:
Roxanne Auge  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Nondalton 
Population:
203  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
11/29/2006 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Nondalton operates the piped water and sewer system and provides a central watering point for residents to haul their own water. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. An infiltration gallery at Six-Mile Lake supplies the community with treated water. There are 88,000 gallons of storage capacity. 70 residences are connected to the piped water and sewer system and are plumbed. Funds have been requested to extend the system to 11 newly constructed homes, and to make system improvements -- demand has doubled over the past 12 years. Refuse collection is not provided. A new 5-acre landfill and burn box project were completed this summer ('05). Construction of the Iliamna-Nondalton road and bridge is pending. The INN Electric Cooperative owns a diesel plant in Newhalen and 50 miles of distribution line to connect Iliamna, Newhalen and Nondalton. The Tazimina Hydroelectric Project has recently been completed, and powers the three communities 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
This reporting period RUBA staff continued to provide phone and fax assistance and traveled to Nondalton August 23 and September 22. After his break to fish in Chignik, the city administrator seems to have easily slipped right back into the job. In addition to oversight of all city staff, departments, and enterprises, he is very involved as the community contact for the various capital projects going on in the community (new clinic, close out of the old landfill, road improvements, and ongoing water and sewer repairs and maintenance). The city clerk has spent a lot of time getting the office organized and dealing with the papers that the city administrator had allowed to pile up. The city has recognized a need to begin implementing their planning committee ordinance and convene planning committee meetings. This will provide a formal structure for community input on community capital improvement projects and the newly revised Lake and Peninsula Borough Comprehensive Plan. The city administrator, who is also on the borough planning commission, will act as planning coordinator.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff plans to travel back to Nondalton after the first of the year to update their assessment, to work with the city on clarifying the new clerk and adminstrator's areas of responsibility and follow up on the list of things that need to be worked on. I plan to meet with the council to discuss the city's situation and provide further personnel management and council training. I will continue monitoring their financial management practices.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
15 of 27
Total Score:
41 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
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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Since my last RUBA update, the city has negotiated a repayment agreement with the electric and phone companies, and is working with the IRS on a repayment agreement. Per the administrator, the city has 400 gallons of fuel on hand. They are selling fuel and plan to be continually replenishing their fuel supply as long as they are able to pay. The city's FY 07 budget reflects a subsidy for the utility. This decision was made, because a rate increase would be needed to cover the cost of operations and the city doesn't think this is appropriate given the level of service provided.

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.
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
The city has repayment agreements in place and has shut off non-payers who have not entered into a repayment agreement. The city has a combination manual accounting system and computerized spreadsheets that track revenues and expenditures when the city uses them and a computerized spreadsheet that calculates payroll correctly. The new city clerk is handling the bookeeping. I have noted some errors and brought them to the city administrator's attention. As supervisor he needs to provide oversight of her work and ensure accuracy is checked more closely. As an example, the monthly financial report showed water and sewer revenues of $13,000; however, the cash receipts book showed $1,300. I reviewed with them the RUBA agreement items they are supposed to send me on a regular basis.

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.
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 city is working with IRS to negotiate a repayment agreement for its current liability. I spoke with the IRS representative working with Nondalton and he will begin negotiating the repayment agreement once he receives the 'Information Collection Form - 433 B.' The city clerk says she has completed it and mailed it to IRS.

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.
No 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 personnel files set up with the required documents, except for acceptance letters. I provided an overview on personnel management responsibilities and the process in general, but need to cover this in more detail.

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 water plant operators and the administrator have attended OIT training and the landfill operator is scheduled to attend training next month. The water plant operator currently has OIT certifications for Water Distribution, Water Treatment, Wastewater Collection, and Wastewater Treatment. The city administrator has OIT certifications for Water Distribution and Water Treatment. The alternate operator has OIT certifications in Water Distribution and Water Treatment.

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.
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
There are no written status reports provided by public works staff, but the administrator stops by the utility every morning. The city does not hold formal safety meetings but the administrator periodically discusses safety issues with public works staff and there is an OSHA manual available. The utility has critical spare parts on hand. The utility is on the Significant Non-compliance list for Surface Water Treatment Rule, but has been allowed a Compliance Order by onsent by DEC, because of system deficiencies that prevent compliance.