Quarterly Report: 2008, July - September (Q1), 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:
461  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/17/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well and is treated. The majority of the community (roughly 94 homes), 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 provided on-site assistance to the Mayor and City staff with the RUBA Assessment of Management indicators September 19-21, 2007. The City is working hard to maintain satisfactory RUBA essential indicators associated with special sanitation grant conditions. RUBA assisted the city administrator assemble a monthly financial report. Water/sewer customer fee collections could improve but overall water/sewer finances are stable and the mayor is making a visible effort to strengthen collections. The water operator attended a RUBA utility management course during this quarter in Dillingham. Also of note, the new airport was completed, the new school construction continues, and ten new HUD homes are nearing completion. The HUD homes are expected to use a private septic system until the public wastewater system allows additional connections. The City hopes to see the sewage lagoon renovation project initiated next spring. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA recommends the City strive to maintain satisfactory RUBA essential indicators and offers ongoing assistance upon request. City staff expressed interest in updating the existing RUBA Agreement and associated RUBA Workplan to facilitate utility sustainability.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
48 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 plans to amend the existing FY 2008 water/sewer budget shortly to add additional pertinent expenses. Year-to-date utility revenues are exceeding expenses. Water/sewer collections fell slightly over the summer but the mayor is actively pursuing enforcement of the collections policy. The utility is current on electric bills. Fuel supplies remain sufficient. The water operator presents monthly reports to the council. RUBA urged City staff to review sample business plan documents and related requirements for financial data to facilitate development of a sanitation business plan, which ANTHC is presently initiating.

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 Mayor is directing staff to strictly enforce the water/sewer ordinance with respect to monthly fee collections. The utility bills consistently in coordination with a billing service provided by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. City staff continues to monitor and document accounts receivable, accounts payable, and cash disbursement. RUBA recommends the FY 2008 budget be entered into QuickBooks to facilitate year-to-date tracking. RUBA continues to recommend reconilication of all City bank accounts as well as the monthly ANTHC billing reports. City staff should continue improving filing and recordkeeping to facilitate accurate bookkeeping.

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.
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
The City is current on federal tax payment obligations according to correspondence with the IRS dated September 20, 2007. The City must, however, submit a late Form 941 for the second quarter of 2007.

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 Administrator informed RUBA that payment has been made for the City's workers' compensation insurance policy which provides coverage through July 1, 2008. RUBA requested a copy of the notice of insurance for the files. City staff continues reviewing personnel policy and administrative procedure samples provided by RUBA.

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 guidance and authority of a City ordinance. The City is strivig to improve enforcement of collections in coordination with ANTHC's billing service. 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 and is presently seeking alternate operators.

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. The utility encounters minor system outages. Utility staff maintain a preventative maintenance plan and maintains contact with Remote Maintenance Worker and ANTHC engineers. City officials continue to monitor the wastewater system and are coordinating efforts with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to address short and long-term solutions to sewage lagoon repair. RUBA continues to recommend consistent safety meetings and suggests formation of a safety committee. The utility published its Consumer Confidence Report timely.