Quarterly Report: 2008, July - September (Q1), 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:
259  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/17/2007 
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. 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 an ongoing project and is in the last phase of connecting the new 200,000 gallon tank 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 need replacement so work for this phase will resume this summer. The effluent is chlorinated before discharge. The City is currently applying for grants to complete the fencing around the current landfill. They are working with the local IRA to secure the funding needed for the fence.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff traveled to Shungnak for an on-site visit to provide assistance with the annual Power Cost Equalization (PCE) report and to update the RUBA Management Assessment report. After discussing the RUBA assessment indicators with the staff, RUBA examined the insurance files and noted late payment notices. Upon calling the insurance company it was discovered the worker's compensation insurance had been cancelled for non-payment. RUBA researched insurance companies and assisted the staff in applying for a new policy. The administartion has not kept current with IRS liabilities either and RUBA stressed the importance of meeting that indicator. Shungnak continues to experience cash flow problems and additional on-site assistance was requested. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff plans to travel to Shungnak this quarter to follow up on the RUBA assessment, workmen's compensation and tax issues.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
20 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
23 of 27
Total Score:
43 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.
No 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.
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.
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
Cash flow problems have caused the City to fall behind in paying their AVEC electric bills. In addition, a list of overdue water/sewer accounts is being prepared for the council's consideration after this last round of delinquency letters were written.

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.
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 City needs to enforce their collection policy to deal with delinquent water/sewer customers.

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.
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
RUBA staff will follow through making sure a payment from ANICA was received and that Community Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)funds were used to pay off the IRS debt.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
RUBA is providing assistance in finding another insurance agent to provide worker's compensation insurance after it was discovered that the previous insurance was canceled for late payments.

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.
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.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
There have been problems getting a quorum for a council meeting this summer; the Council needs to be made aware of the outstanding debt owed the City by customers.

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 operator is certified in water distribution and waste water treatment 1. He has plans to attend the next training in Kotzebue which is planned for November 2007.