Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), Shungnak

Community:
Shungnak 
Staff:
Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Shungnak 
Population:
269  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/4/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Shungnak operates the piped water and sewer system. The City Council is the policy making board for the utility. As of April 1, 2011, Shungnak has entered into a billing assistance program with ARUC. The water infiltration gallery was destroyed by ice several years ago, and needs replacement. A reservoir is intermitently filled from the Kobuk River. A portable pump fills a 200,000-gallon steel storage tank through 1,110' of buried arctic pipe. Currently, the City has a new 200,000 gallon tank connected to the new water treatment plant. Groundwater wells have proven unsuccessful; however, they are still drilling to find a new groundwater source. Piped water and sewer services are provided to 53 homes (those at the top of the bluff), clinic, school, and community building. Shungnak has a six-inch buried gravity sewage main, which drains into a small, diked lake one-half mile northwest of the city. The sewer main, lift station, and manholes have been replaced last summer. The effluent is chlorinated before discharge. ANTHC found funds to complete the new sewage lagoon last summer. The new water tank and treatment plant projects are completed. The City Administrator would like to have a new master plan completed.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff was in contact with the administrator via phone and email working with her to meet her Finance capacity indicators but still has not received any financial reports to date.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The administrator due to family health problems, is having a hard time keeping a realiable city clerk as well to assist her in meeting capacity indicators. She has requested that RUBA staff come and assist her meeting the indicators who scheduled a trip in May 2011.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
17 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
15 of 26
Total Score:
32 of 52

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.
No Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
No 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
Although all revenues are listed in the realistic utility budget, no monthly financial reports have been prepared and submitted to the council to know that they are receiving enough revenues to operate or that they still have the funds available to purchase fuel for the remainder of the fiscal year. Kotzebue RUBA contacted AVEC to find out that she is three months delinquent in paying her electric bill. While the administrator was on sick leave off and on the last two months, she got behind in paying their electric bills which is 60 days past due. Without receipt of her monthly financial reports to date, RUBA cannot say that they are receiving revenues to cover their expenses nor that their revenues or expenses are at a level equal to those budgeted. She meets monthly with the council when she is there providing them with a monthly report. She has not been able to save funds away for repair and replacement costs but has budgeted for minor emergency repairs. It is unknown whether or not she had prepared a monthly manager's report.

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.
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
Although she bills customers on a regular basis, has adopted a collection policy, it is unknown if she is actively following it without the minutes showing review of their finances. She still manually records all cash receipts, cash disbursements and payroll onto the Northwest Arctic Borough Accounting system ledgers which correctly calculates payroll and keeps their employee file records. She uses her budget as her chart of accounts which identifies categories but without the financial repots am unable to say that bank reconciliations have been completed and that she is using a purchasing system.

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.
N/A 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
She has a manual system that accurately calculates, tracks and reports payroll tax liabilities. RUBA has not received her signed tax authorizations in order to make sure she is in compliance with federal and state taxes.

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 administrator has renewed her insurance changing over to Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance for a more affordable rate which she posted and in effect until July 2011. The council adopted personnel policies that she had reviewed by AML which includes an hiring process, evaluation process that ties to the job description which she has on file for all employees. The personnel folders contain an I-9 form, their job application and letter of acceptance. She provides orientation, job oversite and evaluations on all employees which she has on file and provides them training opportunities as well.

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.
No The policy making body meets as required.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The council is the known entity who owns the utility adopted an ordinance to give it authority but has not been active in following through with their policy. They have adopted an organizational chart that reflects there current structure. They have an administrator who has been there for over 20 years who handles all the bookkeeping. The operator has a certificate for water treatment and recently for wastewater lagoon. Without the minutes adopting the finances, it is unknown if they have been meeting as required or compling with the open meetings act.

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.
No 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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The operator is actively working towards certification but follows the preventative maintenance plan who reports to the administrator and the council with his operations and maintenance report. He also maintains an inventory and critical spare parts list he provides to the administrator which she budgets for every year. No known safety meetings have been held nor has it been documented that she spot checks to see that maintenance problems have been completed. The Remote Maintenance Worker for Maniilaq had to travel to Shungnak twice this last quarter when the pump at one of the lift stations broke down. They salvaged an old one and have a new one on order so it is now functionly properly. She has distributed the Consumer Confidence Report and is not on the Significant Non-Complier list.