Quarterly Report: 2013, January - March (Q3), Saint Paul

Community:
Saint Paul 
Staff:
Jedediah Smith  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of St. Paul 
Population:
479  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
4/22/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is obtained from seven wells and and is treated. Currently, there are storage tanks with 850,000 gallons of capacity. All 167 homes are connected to the piped water and sewer system and are fully plumbed. An ocean outfall line was recently added for seafood processing waste. The city collects refuse, and has started a solid waste reduction and recycling program. A landfill, incinerator, sludge and oil disposal site have been recently completed. Three other landfills are located on the island. A $3 million power plant has been completed. There are three wind turbines located on the island with only one connected to the airport and hotel. An on-site RUBA assessment was conducted in July 2011.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff received a signed authorization to request tax information on March 4, 2013. The Saint Paul city clerk contacted the Anchorage LGS with a question regarding Title 29 and the classification of the city of Saint Paul. The clerk wanted to know when the city went from a fourth class city to a second class city, and where in Alaska statute, she could find more information. The Anchorage LGS found a citation in the 1981 copy of Title 29 that referred to the transition, which took place in 1972 as a result of legislative action. The citation reads in part, 'On Spetember 10, 1972, fourth class cities incorporated before that date are reclassified as second class cities subject to reclassification under (sec. 40) of this chapter.' The LGS said he would be willing to do more research if necessary and will continue to assist the community as requested. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Assistance will continue to be provided by new RUBA staff as requested by St. Paul city staff.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 27
Total Score:
50 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 City of Saint Paul uses the calendar fiscal year. March budget vs. actual financial statements indicate that the utility has taken in 40% of anticipated yearly revenue. City operating expenses fell within budgeted expectations, with diesel fuel at only 19% of the amount budgeted. St. Paul's administration expenses are at only 14% of the budgeted amounts. Monthly financial reports are given to the city manager from the utility director and then given to the council at council meetings. The public works director provides a monthly update to the city manager and the city manager provides an entity wide update on city enterprises. March 2012 City Council meeting was not held, cancelled due to weather and travel schedules. St. Paul holds well organized City Council meetings, broadcast live over local radio. This allows residents to closely follow the workings of the city.

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 utility charges flat rates for residential water customers; meters are installed for all commercial customers. The city has a collection policy in Chapter 11 of the Saint Paul Code of Ordinances and includes the current water rates, which were adopted in 2011. A sample utility bill was provided by the city finance department and has the water, sewer, refuse, sales tax and electric customer charges. Billing is the first week of each month. The City of Saint Paul uses the Multiple Operations Manager System (MOMS) 2005 for their accounting needs. The residential water class has 241 customers. Accounts Payable is done in Excel. The chart of accounts categorizes revenues and expenditures in a complete and understandable manner. Anchorage RUBA staff observed the monthly bank reconciliation method by the Saint Paul Financial Department. Bank reconciliations are done with all checks, deposits, and bank statements on the first week of the month. The utility uses a purchasing system that involves a purchase requisition for any purchases over $500. The purchase requisition is generated, then the public works director approves the requisition and the city manager has final approval.

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.
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
A signed Federal Tax Information Request has not yet been received for this quarter. Indicators will be shifted to yes when federal tax compliance is confirmed.

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 hiring process is in the code of ordinances and has a public notice of at least two weeks. The manager has authority to hire temporary positions until a permanent employee is selected by the city manager with council approval. Employee files are kept in a locked cabinet in the city clerk's office and have all employee documentation. Documentation includes form I-9, job application and letter of acceptance. The personnel policies and procedures are in the Saint Paul Code of Ordinances and there is a probationary period of 3 months. Anchorage RUBA staff noted that evaluations are also done at 6 months and a year after employment. Travel and training is offered to employees as funding allows, due to high cost of travel.

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 Saint Paul owns and operates the water and sewer utility and meets every third Wednesday of each month. Minutes from a special meeting held on February 2, 2011 show that the council had adopted new water and sewer rates with ordinance 11-01. The City of Saint Paul uses utility ordinances to enforce billing, collection, customer shut off and reconnection of the water utility to the customer. The city has a trained public works director that has more than three years experience. The public works director reports to the city manager and the manager reports to the council. The city financial director is new, but has more than 10 years experience in bookkeeping. There are two water operators and the primary operator has water distribution and treatment certification from the Department of Environmental conservation, which expired on 12/31/2011, and also has a level 1 collection certification, due to expire 12/31/13. According to the water operator database, he has the necessary continuing education units (CEUs) to renew his certification online. Anchorage RUBA staff will inform St. Paul administration of this requirement. The second water operator holds certification in Water Treatment, Provisional and Water Distribution, Provisional; both certificates are due to expire on 12/31/2013, and his continuing education unit (CEU)requirement has already been met. The utility ordinance is found in Chapter 10: Water Utility in the Saint Paul Code of Ordinances. The organizational chart is detailed and has all city employees listed and shows the lines of authority for each position. The Open Meetings Act is followed with proper postings in at least three public places five days prior to the meeting.

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".
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
The alternate water operator has obtained provisional water treatment and distribution certifications which expire on 12/31/13 and is working towards meeting requirements for a Water Treatment Level 1 certification. There are seven wells on island and each well has a copy of the operations and maintenance manual in a sealed bag. Monthly reports are given to the city manager from the public works director and operators have daily checks on the five of seven well that are in operation. Safety meetings are held on the first Monday of each month. There have been no major outages of the utility due to managerial errors. The utility is not on the October SNC 2012 list. There is no inventory control list, but numerous parts and materials are kept near wells 1 and 2, including pipes, fire hydrants and fittings. A critical spare parts list is in the process of being generated by the administrative assistant at the public works department.