Quarterly Report: 2013, April - June (Q4), Shageluk

Community:
Shageluk 
Staff:
Fred Broerman  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Shageluk 
Population:
83  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/24/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Shageluk has about forty homes, all of which use honeybuckets and pit privies to dispose their waste. Residents haul water from the community's single watering point at the washeteria/water treatment plant. There is no charge for the water. The washeteria/water plant was built around 1994 and is owned and operated by the city. Ten HUD houses constructed in 1991 have flush and haul wastewater capabilities but the city's waste hauling apparatus is not operational. The community's post office, clinic, city building, and washeteria have piped water and wastewater. The school is also connected to the city's wastewater lines but has its own well; but the water from the well can only be used for washing and cleaning. Drinking water is hauled daily to the school from the water treatment plant. The community's electric utility is Alaska Village Electric Cooperative. Fuel is delivered by Ruby Marine and Zho-Tse Inc, the tribal corporation, is the community's fuel vendor. The city operates and maintains the community's landfill. A July 2, 2013 phone conversation with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's engineer assigned to Shageluk indicated the city is being considered for construction funding from USDA Rural Development (RD, $3.73 million) and Village Safe Water (VSW, $1.24 million) to provide water and wastewater service for residents on Hamilton Street. The Project AN-13-T53 was set aside as FY13 funding, with construction scheduled to start in the summer of 2014. However, the release of construction funds depends on the city being RUBA compliant. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Bethel RUBA staff worked with the mayor and city staff to schedule a visit to the community from June 10-13, 2013 to work on RUBA compliance. Bethel staff traveled from Bethel to Shageluk on June 10, 2013. However, upon arrival, Shageluk's city clerk and administrator informed him that they would not be available to work with him during the week, so RUBA staff returned to Bethel on June 10. On Friday, June 30, 2013, Shageluk's administrator and clerk called Bethel RUBA staff needing clarification on the summary pages of the state's City Budget Manual worksheets. Bethel staff answered their questions, and was then asked by the administrator to review the city's FY14 budget before they sent it to DCRA's Community Aid and Accountability office in Juneau. Bethel staff reminded the administrator of the ordinance process (initiated by city council) that the budget had to go through before being sent to Juneau. Bethel staff received parts of the city's FY14 in two emails. However, several of the attachments were partial pages that could not be accurately pieced together so a fair review of the city's budget could be made. On July 1, Bethel RUBA staff emailed the city staff asking them to try resending the budget as a fax or attached to an email in a pdf file. A State of Alaska City Budget Manual Fiscal Year 2014 was also emailed to the clerk and administrator along with a note suggesting they review pages 1-5 of the manual which explains drafting and adopting a municipal budget. As of this writing, the city has not responded to a June 13, 2013 quarterly information request to verify RUBA essential indicators and the city's last RUBA assessment was completed July 9, 2008. Therefore, many of the sustainable and essential indicators have been marked non-compliant until a new RUBA assessment is completed and they can be re-evaluated.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Bethel staff will be available to work with the city's administrative staff to update the status of their RUBA indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
12 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
7 of 26
Total Score:
19 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
N/A Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city has not provided the Bethel regional office a copy of its FY14 budget appropriation ordinance, nor has it provided minutes from city council meetings or monthly financial reports since February 2013. Therefore, four essential indicators and four sustainable indicators of the Finances section are marked 'No'. A July 2, 2013 phone call to Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) indicated all the city's electric accounts were current. On July 16, 2012 the city clerk indicated that the city received 8,000 gallons of heating fuel on June 24, 2012. An August 14, 2012 phone conversation with the vice-mayor indicated that Ruby Marine topped off the city's tanks on August 11, 2012 and the city had enough fuel on hand for the winter of 2012/2013.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
No An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
No An accounts payable system is in place.
No The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
No A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
No The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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
Sections 2.11-2.14 of Shageluk's Code of Water and Sewer Ordinances, adopted in 2005, address billing and payment, administration and enforcement, and restoration of service for utility customers. The school and the post office are the city's only customers for water and wastewater services. However, the city's FY13 budget did not show any locally generated revenue for the water and wastewater department. Bank account and reconciliation statements were requested from the city on June 13, 2013, but have not been provided. Several indicators of this section are marked 'No' until documents needed for their verification are provided by the city.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No 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
An email correspondence with the Alaska Department of Labor dated June 24, 2013, indicated the city is current with its employment security compensation tax payments and reports through March 31, 2013. The city has not filled out and submitted an Authorization to Request Federal Tax Information form to the Bethel RUBA office emailed to them on June 13, 2013. However, a March 19, 2013 fax correspondence from the Anchorage IRS Taxpayer Advocate indicates the city has outstanding federal taxes for December 2010 and December 2011, and has not filed federal information returns for March, June and September of 2012. Therefore, two of the 'Tax Problems' essential indicators of this section were marked 'No'. The city is not listed on the March - April 2013, LIEN WATCH: A Review of Small Community Liens.

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.
No 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.
No 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
A July 2, 2013 phone call to Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association indicated that the city had renewed its workers compensation policy for FY14. A personnel policies and procedures manual is electronically filed at the Bethel RUBA office. However, there is no documentation that the manual has been adopted by city council. The city needs to provide documentation that evaluations of employees are conducted at least annually and the evaluation process is tied to each employee's job description. Several indicators of this section are marked 'No' until documents needed for their verification are provided by the city.

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.
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
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
City of Shageluk Code of Water and Sewer Ordinances Ordinance #05-02 adopted on November 23, 2005 is on file at the Bethel Regional office. The school and the post office are the city's only customers for water and wastewater services. However, the city's FY12 and FY13 budgets do not show any locally generated revenue for the water and wastewater department. The city administrator was hired on February 20, 2012 and the city clerk on April 6, 2012. The administrator attended QuickBooks training in May of 2012 and the mayor and the administrator attended a RUBA Utility Management training in April of 2012. The city clerk attended a RUBA sponsored Utility Clerk training September 10-14, 2012. She has held clerical and administrative positions with a tribal agency and a regional corporation and has been a resident of the community for sometime having graduated from Shageluk's Innoko River High School. Alaska's Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database classifies Shageluk's water treatment plant as 'Small Water System'. The city's water plant operator has a Small Treated Water System Certification which expires on December 31, 2015. The city has not provided the Bethel RUBA office with an organization chart, adopted by city council, which reflects its current structure. The city council usually meets at least monthly pursuant to Alaska Title 29 and public notification of meetings and the manner in which they are conducted is in accordance with Alaska's Open Meeting Act or otherwise stated in local ordinances.

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
No 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.
No The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
Yes The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
Alaska's Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database classifies Shageluk's water treatment plant as 'Small Water System Treated Water System'. The city's water plant operator has a Small Treated Water System Certification which expires December 31, 2015. Shageluk's preventative maintenance plan is contained under Chapter 2 (pages 10-24) of the Operations and Maintenance Manual is on file at the Bethel RUBA office. The city also has a forty-eight page safety policy. However, documentation has not been submitted that verifies regular safety meetings are being held. A copy of the city's 2011 Consumer Confidence Report is electronically filed at the Bethel RUBA office along with a certification form signed by the water plant operator on August 6, 2012 indicating the report was distributed and posted in the community. The utility is not on the April 2013 Significant Non-Compliance list. Current inventory control and critical spare parts lists need to be submitted to the Bethel regional office, for RUBA compliance. Several indicators of this section are marked 'No' until documents needed for their verification are provided by the city.