Quarterly Report: 2012, July - September (Q1), 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:
10/26/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Shageluk has about forty homes, all of which use honey buckets 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 sewer capabilities but the city's waste hauling apparatus is not operational. The community's post office, clinic, city building, washeteria have piped water and sewer. The school is also connected to the city's sewer 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 sanitation master plan for the community was completed in 2001 and is currently being amended with projected publication in May 2011. Changes in the sanitation plan focus on lowering the capitol cost per home for building the system and the long term monthly operation and maintenance cost to customers. If funds are granted a tentative schedule would be to initiate construction on the community's sewage lagoon in 2012 and construction of water and sewer lines in following years.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Bethel staff advised council members and registered voters about several Title 4 and Local Option questions. There was community interest in liberalizing the amount alcohol that could be imported into the city. City council will be changing importation amounts by ordinance. Assistance was also given to city staff in corresponding and billing the US Postal Service for $60,000 for heating fuel the city had provided to the post office from 2002 to 2011 and had not been compensated for.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Bethel RUBA staff will be available to work with the new administrative staff to update the status of their sustainable indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
47 of 53

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
Shageluk passed their FY 2012 budget appropriation ordinance on May 23, 2010. Copies of the budget and ordinance are on file in the Bethel RUBA office. The budget appears to be realistic, detailed and balanced. The city provided monthly financial reports for May, June, July and August along with minutes from their July 15, 2011 and September 15, 2011 council meetings. The minutes adequately document that the monthly financial reports were read to and reviewed by city council. A September 23, 2011 correspondence from Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) indicated all the city's electric accounts were current. The city's administrator indicated that an August 8, 2011 delivery of 11,998 gallons of heating fuel from Ruby Marine should be enough for city buildings for the winter. The city's FY 2012 Community Revenue Sharing and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds were used to pay for the heating fuel needed for the winter of 2011/2012. The August 2011 monthly financial report submitted to council during their September 15, 2011 regular meeting indicated the city was operating with revenues more than adequate to cover operating expenses.

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
Sections 2.11-2.14 of Shageluk's Code of Water and Sewer Ordinances adopted on November 23, 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 paying customers for water and sewer services, are billed on a monthly basis. The system for accounts payable and accounts receivable is in place and is done manually. The payroll system is done manually and has been adequate to meet their record keeping and payroll needs. A chart of accounts has been developed and is used to track cash receipts and disbursements. Bank reconciliations are kept up to date. A purchase order form has been developed for the utility service workers and a copy is contained in the Bethel files.

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.
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
Correspondence from IRS Taxpayer Advocate dated September 26, 2011 states that there are no current balances or information returns due for the city. Shageluk was not listed on the July-August 2011 LIEN WATCH: A Review of Small Community Liens. A September 22, 2011 email correspondence from the State of Alaska, Department of Labor's Anchorage Employment Security Tax office indicated the city was in compliance with employment security tax requirements through September 2011.

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.
Yes 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.
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 September 28, 2011 query done on the Department of Labor's Worker's Compensation employer database indicates that the city has workers' compensation insurance for its employees. Job descriptions for the city's utility operator and city administrator are adequate and on the file in the Bethel Regional Office. A Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual is on file but is it is not dated nor is there 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. The city sent their newly hired administrator to RUBA sponsored QuickBooks training in February 2011.

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
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 mayor acts as the manager of the utility. He is a lifetime resident of the community and has been involved with city government for many years and is familiar with the workings of the water plant. Council is active in policy making for the utility and enforces it. In late November of 2010, a new administrator was hired who has experience using Excel spreadsheets and worked for Northern Air Cargo several years doing bookkeeping and accounting work. She also attended a RUBA sponsored QuickBooks training in February 2011. Alaska's Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database classifies Shageluk's water treatment plant as 'Small Water System Treated'. Early in 2011 the city's long term water plant operator recently moved to a nearby community so the city is in need of a certified operator. A new water plant operator was hired on February 8, 2011 and will be going for training and certification in October 2011. An organizational chart for the city is on file however, it is not dated nor has verification been provided that it's been approved by council members. The city council meets on a monthly basis and complies 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
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.
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.
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.
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'. Early in 2011 the city's long term water plant operator moved to a nearby community so the city is in need of a certified operator. A new water plant operator was hired on February 8, 2011 and will be going for training and certification in October 2011. Shageluk's preventative maintenance plan is contained under Chapter 2 (pages 10-24) of the Operations and Maintenance Manual. The city also has a forty-eight page safety policy but documentation has not been submitted that verifies regular safety meetings our being held. In March of 2011 the last ten feet of the city's waste water line to the lagoon froze. The situation was quickly remedied by the temporary operator. Apparently the line to the lagoon doesn't have adequate grade to keep it from freezing during extremely cold temperatures. Varying amounts of warm water needs to be run through the line depending on how cold it is. This problem has not been an ongoing issue in the past, but was an opportunity for the new operator to learn the extent of the adjustments that need to be made to the system during extreme temperatures. A copy of the city's 2010 Consumer Confidence Report is electronically filed at the Bethel RUBA office along with a certification form signed by the mayor on June 28, 2011 indicating the report was distributed and posted in the community. The utility is not on the July 2011 Significant Non-Compliance list. An inventory control list has been submitted to the Bethel RUBA office, but a critical spare parts list has not.