Quarterly Report: 2009, October - December (Q2), New Stuyahok

Community:
New Stuyahok 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of New Stuyahok 
Population:
448  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/13/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well and is treated. The majority of the community (roughly 94 households), facilities and the school are connected to a piped water and sewer system installed in 1971 and have complete plumbing. Some residents use individual wells and septic tanks; roughly six homes are without complete plumbing. Electricity is provided by AVEC. The city coordinates landfill management with the village council. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA continues providing assistance upon request to the city administrator with tasks including water/sewer monthly financial reporting. Presently the RUBA essential indicators related to tax obligations are not being satisfied. RUBA alerted city staff to tax status matters and offered assistance upon request. Construction of the new public school continues; the new school is expected to open slightly later than anticipated in mid-February 2009. Concerning the Community Sanitation Overview listed in this report above, RUBA requested city staff review and confirm that the overview remains accurate and awaits a response. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with the city and continue offering assistance in the coming quarter.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
24 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
44 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.
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 city amended the FY 2009 water/sewer budget in November 2008 to add critical items including water lab testing fees; the budget is balanced and realistic. According to city reports, year-to-date water/sewer revenues are exceeding expenses through November by over $1,000. City officials report fuel supplies are sufficient at this time. The water operator presents monthly operational reports to the council; the administrator presents the utility's financial reports. Budget amendments are adopted as necessary.

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 utility enforces the water/sewer ordinance which includes a collections policy. The city continues with a contract for utility billing in coordination with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and is in talks with ANTHC about participation in the statewide utility cooperative, the Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative. Staff utilizes QuickBooks accounting software for payroll processing, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. The administrator utilizes a spreadsheet provided by RUBA for water/sewer monthly financial reporting and continues seeking QuickBooks training. RUBA recommended continued use of the financial report spreadsheet. RUBA recommends staff reconcile all bank accounts monthly.

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
The city administrator and city clerk use QuickBooks accounting software for payroll processing. According to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service on December 30, 2008 the city is meeting most but not all federal tax obligations. Concerning state ESC tax, on December 30, 2008 the state Department of Labor Employment Security Division indicated the city is not meeting ESC tax obligations. RUBA alerted city staff to the tax status reports and offered assistance upon request.

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.
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
The city's employer's notice of insurance through AMLJIA shows coverage for a one-year period ending July 1, 2009. City staff continues reviewing personnel policy and administrative procedures. The personnel policy appears satisfactory overall but can benefit from a general update; RUBA can assist upon request. The utility provides training opportunities to staff.

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 city operates the utility under the authority of a city ordinance. The utility operates under a Provisional Certificate granted by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. The city administrator and city clerk, both trained and experienced, handle accounting and recordkeeping primarily with QuickBooks accounting software. A certified water operator oversees utility operations. RUBA continues to recommend an alternate water operator be hired and trained to help ensure continuity. the city council meets as required.

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 Water Operator is certified at the OIT level for water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment. Utility staff maintain a preventative maintenance plan and maintains contact with Remote Maintenance Worker. RUBA recommends regular safety meetings be held and suggests formation of a safety committee. The water operator has been proactive in maintaining an emergency preparedness plan for the utility originally developed with assistance from state Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) staff. The utility published its 2007 Consumer Confidence Report timely. According to an ADEC report dated November 13, 2008, the utility is presently on the SNC list for failure to conduct required monitoring for new inorganics. RUBA recommends the city return to compliance by following ADEC instructions concerning sampling requirements.