Quarterly Report: 2012, July - September (Q1), Holy Cross

Community:
Holy Cross 
Staff:
Fred Broerman  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Holy Cross 
Population:
178  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/26/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a deep well and is treated. A new backup well, new pump house and water treatment facility have been completed. Seventy-one households and the school are connected to the piped water and sewer system. A number of residents in the community still haul water from the washeteria and use honeybuckets or outhouses. A Master Plan is underway to examine and engineer expansion of the system. Landfill improvements are needed.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The community enrolled in Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's (ANTHC) billing assistance program in April 2010 and turned over the management and operations of its water and sewer facility to Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative (ARUC) on May 12, 2011. Even though the City of Holy Cross became a member of ARUC in May 2011, it is not in RUBA compliance since it is listed on the March-April 2011 LIEN WATCH: A Review of Small Community Liens for over $45,000 in delinquent IRS 941 taxes for 2008 and 2009. Also a June 17, 2011 email correspondence from the Alaska Department of Labor's Anchorage office indicates that the City of Holy Cross is non-compliant on its Employment Security Taxes. From May 11-13, 2011 Bethel RUBA staff visited Holy Cross to assist their new city administrator/clerk and council members in applying for FY 2011 Community Revenue Sharing (CRS) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) grants as well as FY 2009 PILT funds not yet received. After reviewing city financial documents, Bethel staff attended a special council meeting on May 11, 2011 to brief and advise city leaders about what needs to be done in securing state grants. During the meeting, the council passed its FY 2009 PILT resolution. These PILT funds ($41,393) are needed by the city to pay towards the significant delinquent federal and state taxes that it owes. Bethel staff advised new council members to hire a person from the community who had been the long-time city clerk to mentor the new administrator/clerk and work with her in reconstructing the city's finances from FY 2010 and FY2011 so the city could complete the application materials needed for FY 2011 and FY 2012 PILT and CRS grants. The council took action and approved the suggestion and expressed interest in having RUBA staff visit the community again in the near future for continued advice and direction. RUBA staff spent the following day securing financial documents and setting the new administrator/clerk up with tasks that would help her get the city's finances back into order. With the operation and management of the city's water and sewer utility (including billing and collections) being handled by Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative (ARUC) compliance for nearly all RUBA indicators will be met. This will free up the city's administrator/clerk to devote more time to reconstructing the city's books for FY 2010 and FY2011, and work to resolve federal and state tax issues. The new administrator/clerk, new to city government, is currently only working four hours a day, five days a week. However, the work that will be required to the get the city back up and running after two years of neglect, even with ARUC managing the city's water and sewer utility, will require more than one part time administrative employee.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Bethel RUBA staff is available to provide the city of Holy Cross assistance as requested.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
52 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
Monthly finance and budget reports are prepared by ARUC and distributed to Anchorage RUBA supervisors. ARUC prepares, and sends out reports to the community and the ARUC Advisory committee.

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
ARUC water/sewer ordinance contains a collection policy section. ARUC manages utility billing, accounts payable, receivable, and payroll processing. ARUC reconciles all bank accounts monthly and follows a comprehensive personnel and purchasing policy. ARUC uses spectrum software for its bookkeeping and accounting.

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.
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
The utility is managed by ARUC who is deemed compliant by both ESC and IRS. A September 22, 2011 email correspondence from the Alaska Department of Labor office in Anchorage indicates that the City of Holy Cross is non-compliant with its Employment Security Tax filings.

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
ARUC water plant operators are under ANTHC personnel policy, hiring process, job descriptions, and the consortium provides training for its employees.

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 has an ordinance, MOA and a collaborative agreement with ARUC documenting that ARUC maintains the water and sewer services for the city. ARUC requires local operators be certified or be working toward the certification level of water/wastewater facility.

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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
ARUC requires local operators be certified or be working toward the certification level of water/wastewater facility. The utility has preventative maintenance plan in place. A copy of the city's 2010 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) is electronically filed at the Bethel RUBA office along with a certification form signed by the water operator on June 2, 2011 indicating the CCR was distributed and posted in the community. The city's water treatment facility is not on the July 2011 Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list.